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.”[1]

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.


For Immediate help with your family law case or answering any questions please call (262) 221-8123 now!

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.

Are you ready to move forward? Call (262) 221-8123 to schedule a strategy session with one of our attorneys.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the rules for alimony in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, the alimony laws outline that the longer the marriage is, the longer alimony can be ordered for. Whether it will be ordered depends on the alimony factors. The factors include things like earning capacity, standard of living, and tax consequences.

What is the most common type of alimony?

One of the most common types of alimony is temporary alimony. Having temporary alimony allows the partner receiving it to have time to get on their feet. This is usually paid monthly or in one big payment if it is lump sum alimony

How long does temporary spousal support last?

Temporary spousal support lasts throughout the divorce. Any alimony afterwards is no longer called temporary even if it has a specific end date. This is the same as temporary custody orders.

Does a husband have to support his wife during separation?

One party only has to support the other if the court orders it. In general, if one spouse supported the other during the marriage, they will have to during the divorce and potentially afterwards.

Can I write off lump-sum alimony?

The tax laws of alimony changed in 2019. Now, the person who is paying alimony pays the taxes on it rather than the recipient. This ensures that the person receiving alimony gets all the money they are supposed to. This is the same for lump-sum alimony.

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