– from Beverly X. in Greenfield, WI

Question Details:

My husband of 10 years and I are beginning the initial stages of divorce. We have two children. I have worked for the past 10 years doing what I love, but I do not make a lot of money doing it. My husband makes a substantial amount per year. We have agreed that I should get custody of the children – and that is all we agree on. I have explained that I should receive maintenance and child support in addition to a 50/50 award of property division. He does not agree, and says that I should receive less than 50% in the property award. Could this happen?

Family Law Attorney Response:

It could, but whether it will or not is another question.

The court will look at numerous aspects when rendering a final decision. One thing to understand is that, during a divorce, the court aims to dissolve the marriage while awarding each party an equitable share of the marital property.

The issue may lie in the fact that, if you are awarded 50% of the marital estate plus support and maintenance, your husband may, mathematically, receive a less than equitable share overall. One way it could play out is that the court might possibly award a 60-40 split. This would give you 40%, but with support and maintenance which would balance it out. This was seen in the case of Parrett v. Parrett 146 Wis. 2d 830, 432 N.W.2d 664 (Ct. App. 1988). In this particular case, the wife was awarded 40%. However, this was also accompanied by maintenance and support. By doing it this way, the court balanced the overall equitable outcome.

My advice is to speak to an experienced family law attorney before moving forward with your divorce.

Lawyer Holly Mullin from Sterling Law Offices
Holly Mullin, J.D.
Family Law Attorney

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