– from Sean X. in Glendale, WI

Question Details:

My wife and I were married for over 20 years. We met on the job at a manufacturing plant, started dating, fell in love, and eventually married. We both have the same tenure, the same form of pension plan, and we retired at the same time. Because she is a woman, will I still end up owing maintenance?

Family Law Attorney Response:

Given your circumstances, it is highly unlikely that you will end up owing maintenance. This award is primarily given to ensure financial equality and to enforce marriage obligations in the event of marital dissolution.

Your pension plan is another story. To ensure equality, the courts may give you both interest in each other’s pension funds. This was demonstrated in the case of Kennedy v. Kennedy 145 Wis. 2d 219, 426 N.W.2d 85 (Ct. App. 1988). In this case, the divorcing parties were also financially comparable to one another. The court originally awarded maintenance to the wife, and gave both partners equal interest in each other’s pension funds. The husband appealed. The court of appeals affirmed the pension interest, but reversed the maintenance.

My advice is to contact an attorney. It is always best to be represented during cases such as these.

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

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