– from John M. in New Berlin, WI

Question Details:

I have been divorced for several years. According to our divorce agreement, I would continue paying maintenance in exchange for a majority in the property division. I agreed to this at the time, but I have since experienced a drastic decrease in income. To top it off, she has recently remarried. Because of the change in my situation, and the change in hers, am I still obligated to pay maintenance?

Family Law Attorney Response:

Honestly, I do not have enough information here to provide you an answer with any amount of certainty. However, there may be something you can do. It would depend on the wording of the court order, and what exactly it was you agreed to do. Based on the information you provided, you should contact a family law attorney and discuss the matter in detail. He/she will be able to provide you with advice, guidance, and will offer you options on the direction to take.

In the case of Rintelman v. Rintelman, 118 Wis. 2d 587, 348 N.W.2d 498 (1984), (Affirming) 115 Wis. 2d 206, 339 N.W.2d 612 (Ct. App. 1983), a man had entered into a binding stipulation. Generally, the stipulation voiced that he would indefinitely pay his wife maintenance. This included the event of remarriage. He petitioned to end the maintenance, but the court decided against the termination. This is one scenario, yours may play out entirely different. You would want to speak to a lawyer to find out what your options are sooner, rather than later.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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