Wisconsin Alimony Calculator
Get An Estimate Using This Divorce Maintenance Calculator
To calculate alimony in Wisconsin, the court considers the education level of each spouse, the earning capacity of the spouse seeking alimony, and who contributed to the other's earning power or education. Health, age, and length of marriage are also considered because there are no legal guidelines in place to determine maintenance.
Here are two examples involving education level and earning power.
- Education Level: You may be awarded alimony in Wisconsin if the other spouse has a professional degree or higher education level enabling them to earn a larger income than your degree or earning power capacity.
- Earning Power: If you've been a stay-at-home parent or underemployed because you primarily take care of the children to offset childcare costs and enable the other parent to work and earn more, you may be awarded spousal support in Wisconsin.
However, the court my limit the awarded spousal maintenance in a divorce depending on what they think is necessary for you to further your education level or gain full time employment.
How Long Does a Person Have to Pay Spousal Maintenance in Wisconsin?
In many cases, maintenance is awarded for medium marriages (usually 10-20 years) to long term marriages (usually 20+ years) and the duration could equal half of the time married or more. Depending on the case, however, the length of time spousal maintenance must be paid could vary. Click here to read more about length & duration of alimony payments. Some divorce decrees state that the spousal maintenance timeline is unlimited, while others have a definite end date and/or stipulation that if the spouse receiving support remarries, support ends. Longer marriages, such as those of fifteen years or more, may require permanent spousal maintenance (unless the spouse remarries or dies). If there are drastic changes in circumstances after the awarding of spousal maintenance, the court can modify the amount of spousal maintenance.
How Much Spousal Maintenance Will be Awarded in Wisconsin?
Divorcing spouses will often come to an agreement about spousal maintenance amounts without a court ruling. Mediation can be a good way for disagreements to be amicably resolved. Other times it's necessary for the court to make a determination because the divorcing couple cannot agree. Unlike child support payments, which are based on guidelines and percentages, courts have broad discretion regarding spousal maintenance amounts. 10 main factors are used to determine how Wisconsin courts award alimony during a divorce which may include:
- property division
- number of years married
- tax implications of both spouses
- the physical and emotional health of both spouses
- earning capacity of the spouse requesting support (with consideration given to education level, work experience, training/skills, custodial responsibilities, and other factors)
Wisconsin is a “no-fault” divorce state. That means perceived marital misconduct (bad behavior, adultery, etc.) is not a factor when figuring spousal maintenance. Although courts prefer set spousal maintenance payments, fluctuating amounts based on actual income may be awarded, especially if income level is historically unpredictable. Alternately, and more rarely, a lump sum is paid out. You can read here about the 4 different types of alimony in Wisconsin.
Are You Entitled To Spousal Maintenance?
Alimony is generally mandated when one spouse will face financial hardship and be unable to maintain his or her standard of living. Spousal maintenance is usually not awarded if both spouses were employed and self-sufficient during the course of the marriage, or if the marriage is of a relatively short (two or three year) duration. Spousal maintenance is independent of property settlement and child support obligations.
What is the Average Amount or Percentage of Alimony?
Since there are no guidelines in Wisconsin for spousal support payments we have provided a few calculators from other states. These are meant to give you an idea of what spousal support might look like depending on the facts of your case. In a divorce case where the parties can’t come to an agreement on spousal support (alimony), it may advance to a trial and the laws in Wisconsin Statutes 767.26 clearly give sole discretion of spousal support to the court.
Alimony Articles & Frequent Questions
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