– from Dennis K. in Newburg, WI

Question Details:

My wife and I divorced several years ago. She was awarded custody, maintenance, and child support. In the division of the estate, I was able to keep the interest in my pension, among other things. I have since retired, and have been living off of my pension. Because my income has been drastically reduced, I want to stop paying maintenance. Since my pension value was already determined in court as an award of the marital property, can it also be used to determine maintenance after the divorce?

Family Law Attorney Response:

In the case of Pelot v. Pelot, 116 Wis. 2d 339, 342 N.W.2d 64 (Ct. App. 1983), a similar maintenance situation was brought into question. A husband's pension was considered as an award of marital property, and the wife was to receive maintenance, and child support. Upon the husband's dismissal from his job, he requested to cease support payments and reduce maintenance. The support order request was uncontested, but the court took into consideration his current pension benefits. This was appealed by the husband and reversed on the grounds that its value was considered when the divorce took place, therefore, the payments should not be considered again as a part of his current income. This is one scenario, but in order to provide you with the most accurate advice, I would need more details on your situation.

You should speak to a family law attorney sooner, rather than later, for the best guidance on the matter and to better prepare for court.

Trisha Festerling, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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