Important Factors Courts Consider With Alimony
Latrice Knighton is an award-winning divorce attorney, life coach, and speaker. She solves problems using her experience and legal knowledge to offer practical advice.
In Wisconsin, the legislature set out the criteria for the court to consider when awarding a party maintenance (also known as alimony).
Maintenance is supposed to be temporary and rehabilitative. However, in long term marriages it can sometimes be collected for the rest of a person’s life.
If temporary alimony cannot bring out rehabilitation, then the court can, in proper circumstances, order alimony on a long-term or indefinite amount.
It's not just salary that determines the length of alimony. There are many factors at play when it comes down to it.
If you do not get alimony at the time of the divorce, you cannot get alimony later on.
What are the factors that the court considers when awarding alimony?
- The length of the marriage.
- The longer the marriage, the higher the possibility of being awarded alimony.
- The age and physical or emotional health of the parties.
- If both parties are in good health, the less likely maintenance will be received.
- The division of property.
- If one party is getting a larger portion of the property, the court can consider that when giving alimony.
- The educational level of each party at the time of marriage and at the time the action is commenced.
- Higher education and earnings might net a higher chance for alimony.
- The earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance. Including:
- Educational background
- Employment skills
- Work experience
- Length of absence from the job market
- Responsibilities for children
- Time and expense to acquire education or training to enable the party to find employment.
- The feasibility that the party seeking maintenance can become self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage, and, if so, the length of time necessary to achieve this goal.
- The tax consequences of each party
- Considered as an income for the person receiving and a deductible for the person paying.
- Any mutual agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage, according to the terms of which one party has made financial or service contributions to the other with the expectation of reciprocation or other compensation in the future.
- Normally as a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
- The contribution by one party to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other.
- Help fund education or helping within a business
- Such other factors as the court may in each individual case determine to be relevant.
What is something that can end alimony?
- Marriage to someone after the divorce may cause alimony to stopped.
- Death of one of the persons paying or receiving alimony or marriage of the person receiving alimony will terminate alimony unless the divorce settlement agreement provides otherwise.
How do people try to protect alimony?
Some people can try to keep alimony by getting life insurance on the pay order. Courts can sometimes require life insurance as a bond or put a lien on property to ensure the payment of alimony or child support.