Spousal support is something many people worry about when they are getting divorced. Spouses who served as the breadwinner in a household can be nervous that they’ll have to pay it; financially dependent spouses can be fearful that they won’t get this money and will struggle to support themselves after the divorce.
No matter which position you are in, knowing some basic facts about spousal maintenance in Wisconsin can help alleviate some of your concerns.
It is not available in every divorce
Alimony or spousal maintenance is not a given just because two people are getting divorced. In order for people to receive maintenance, one of three actions must occur. They must have signed a valid prenuptial agreement dictating these payments, or they must agree to it in out-of-court proceedings, or the courts must award it after considering numerous factors.
Generally speaking, alimony may not be an issue in divorces involving two people with similar financial resources and needs.
It may not last forever
Even if one person is required to pay spousal support, the order may not be in place forever. While the courts have the power to order indefinite support, in many cases, an order is temporary and terminates after a specific amount of time or as soon as the recipient is financially secure.
There is no specific formula for calculating support
Unfortunately, there is no calculator to give people precise answers on how much maintenance they might pay or receive. The amount depends on several factors that vary from case to case. These factors include:
- Tax consequences
- Each person’s income
- Child support obligations
- Other relevant information
Discussing your case with an attorney
Making assumptions about spousal maintenance or other divorce-related matters can be a costly mistake. Not only can it create unnecessary fear and anxiety, but it can also lead to misguided decisions. Understanding some basic information about divorce law and discussing the specific details of your case with an attorney can help you make informed choices that allow you to pursue fair resolutions.