What are the Different Types of Alimony in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin provides divorcing couples four different spousal support payment options to provide flexibility in the divorce agreement process. Spousal maintenance payment plans include:

  • Temporary Support
  • Permanent Support
  • Reimbursement Support
  • Lump-sum Support


Spousal Support in Wisconsin

Discuss your alimony options with an experienced attorney to ensure that the final divorce order will be fair for you while providing you with a stable and secure financial future.

Temporary Support

Temporary alimony will be support payments ordered by the court to be paid before the divorce is completed. This order will be determined during what is called a “Temporary Orders Hearing”.

Typically this alimony order occurs during longer divorce trials as a way for a lesser-earning spouse to have financial assistance while the divorce is pending. Once the divorce is complete, a different type of alimony will usually be ordered.

Permanent Support

As the title suggests, permanent alimony is alimony paid indefinitely. The only events that would stop permanent alimony from having to be paid are if one of the two spouses dies, or if the recipient ends up remarrying. Although rare, there may be instances where the recipient is still entitled to payment despite remarriage.

Even though this form of alimony is permanent, it doesn’t mean that the amount paid is permanent. That can still fluctuate up and down based on changes of circumstances for the payer or recipient.


Estimate Alimony Payments

Estimate alimony by using our WI alimony calculator here. Using this calculator is a good way to inform yourself on how alimony will impact you financially.

Reimbursement Support

Reimbursement spousal support is another temporary form of alimony. What sets it apart from temporary alimony is that it doesn’t have a certain date in which it is terminated. Instead, it is paid until a predetermined amount is paid to the other.

Reimbursement spousal support was created to pay back a spouse for expenses that were the direct result of the other spouse.

The most common example is to pay back the cost of higher education if one spouse worked to pay for the other spouse’s education. The person who is responsible for paying the other spouse back can do it all at once in a lump sum or over an agreed upon period of time.

Lump-Sum Support

Lump-sum alimony is a form of alimony that is paid all at once instead of dealing with monthly payments over an extended period of time. Usually, lump-sum is a considered form of alimony in cases where a property settlement isn’t an option. Lump-sum is a unique form of alimony in that it is even more permanent than permanent alimony. The reason being is that permanent alimony can still be modified when circumstances change in the former spouses’ lives.

Lump-sum, since it’s paid in full, doesn’t factor in future events or circumstantial changes. Due to the permanent nature of it, you’ll want to make sure an experienced family law attorney has worked with you on your case because the outcome can’t be overturned for any reason.

References: What are Temporary Orders?

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