Wisconsin Spousal Support and Maintenance Attorneys

Spousal Maintenance / Alimony Attorneys in Milwaukee and Waukesha

Protecting Your Family

The Waukesha and Milwaukee, Wisconsin spousal maintenance attorneys at Gamiño Law Offices, LLC work to ensure that both sides receive a fair and equitable distribution of the divorcing couple's assets, including earnings when spousal support is an issue.  The best family law attorneys recognize that both parties contributed the the marriage in ways that are both quantifiable and ways that are not; and that one party may not deserve more assets or a greater share of the earnings when divorcing.  Whether both parties worked during the marriage, or one spouse worked while the other stayed home or was in school, top divorce attorneys help their clients understand that a fair division of assets and sometimes of potential future earnings is one where both parties can live and support themselves in a comfortable lifestyle for themselves and their dependents and without unreasonable financial obligations.
1.  What is maintenance?
​Maintenance, formerly called alimony, is money one spouse pays to to the other during or after a divorce.

Maintenance and child support are treated differently for tax purposes.  A parent paying child support can't deduct it on his or her income tax return.  And the parent receiving child support doesn't report it as income.  By contrast, the person paying maintenance can deduct it on taxes, and the person receiving maintenance must report it as income.

2.  How does the court decide whether to award maintenance?
A husband and wife may agree on whether maintenance is appropriate and, if so, what the maintenance amount and duration will be.  If they don't agree, the judge decides these issues.  The judge will consider:
  • the length of the marriage;
  • each spouse's age and physical and emotional health;
  • how property was divided;
  • each spouse's educational level;
  • each spouse's earning capacity;
  • the likelihood that the spouse seeking maintenance can become self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage, and how long it would take to achieve this goal;
  • tax consequences;
  • any agreement of the spouses;
  • one spouse's contribution to the education, training, or increased earning power of the other; 
  • any other factor the court finds relevant.

3.  How long does spousal support continue?
Spousal maintenance can continue for differing lengths of time.  Spousal support orders can be temporary, until the spouse awarded maintenance becomes self-sufficient, or the spousal support awards can be permanent, until there is a post-judgment basis to modify the award based on a substantial change in circumstances.  Support often ends at the death or remarriage of the recipient spouse, but the Court can set a certain length of time at their discretion as well.

4.  How is spousal support paid?
A wage assignment is an order to an employer to deduct child support or maintenance payments from an employee's pay.  When the court orders a person in a divorce to pay support or maintenance, the order includes a wage assignment order for his or her employer.  But, if a wage assignment order would cause the payer irreparable harm, the court may allow the person to pay directly to the State Child Support Collection Fund, which forwards the money to the other spouse.​

5.  Can the spousal support ordered by the judge be modified?
You can ask the court to reconsider its decision.  You can appeal to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.  Strict time limits exist for filing an appeal (usually 45 days).  If you are dissatisfied with a decision about maintenance, however, you should be aware of certain limits.  The court can't revise a judgment that waives maintenance.  If you want the court to reconsider an award of limited-term maintenance, you must file a motion before the maintenance period ends.
For a free initial consultation with a dedicated Milwaukee divorce attorney doing their best to help with your divorce or family law concerns in Wisconsin, contact Gamiño Law Offices, LLC in Milwaukee or Waukesha, WI. 
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