– from Rachel F. in St. Francis, WI

Question Details:

My husband and I have been married for almost seven years. Over the last two, we have steadily grown apart. We both work, but he is the primary bread-winner. We have no children, so child support isn't an issue. I make enough to support myself, but not at the standard that I have grown accustomed to during the course of our marriage. Is maintenance based on need or standards of living?

Family Law Attorney Response:

Maintenance awards are at the sole discretion of the trial court. With that being said, it is likely you may receive a limited support award. This is to say, the duration may be limited. This is seen in the case of Bentz v. Bentz 148 Wis. 2d 400, 435 N.W.2d 293 (Ct. App. 1988).

The court considered need and previous standards of living equally. The court awarded the wife limited maintenance for 5 years. The wife appealed, the court of appeals affirmed. The goal of the court when rendering a final decision on the dissolution of a marriage is to ensure that both parties share the burden of divorce, and both parties enjoy an equally equitable state that parallels their previous standard of living. In other words, they try to keep it as fair as possible.

My advice to you would be to contact a Divorce Attorney as soon as possible.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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