Alimony, which is now called spousal maintenance in Wisconsin, can be a tricky subject. Most people need a little guidance from a Milwaukee divorce lawyer because the laws are a bit complex; there are rules, exceptions, and exceptions to the exceptions. If you’re considering getting a divorce and you might be eligible to receive alimony, there are four big things you need to know.
Wisconsin Alimony Fact #1
Spousal maintenance counts as income, and that means if you receive it, you have to claim it on your taxes. Child support, on the other hand, isn’t taxable income; if you’re getting both child support and spousal maintenance, you’ll only have to report the maintenance on your tax return.
Wisconsin Alimony Fact #2
There are two different ways spousal maintenance can be paid in the state of Wisconsin: through a wage assignment or through the State Child Support Collection Fund. In most cases, a wage assignment is used.
Wisconsin Alimony Fact #3
Naturally, if the two involved parties agree on the amount of money that should change hands, everything is smooth sailing. However, if they cannot agree, the court has to get involved. Several factors go into a judge’s decision about spousal maintenance, including the length of the marriage; each spouse’s education level; and how much each spouse is capable of earning.
Wisconsin Alimony Fact #4
Spousal maintenance is legally binding, but either former party can ask for a change. The caveat: there has to be a substantial change in circumstances. A sizable inheritance, a remarriage or the loss of a job can all be substantial changes.
When you’re going through the divorce process, your divorce lawyer will explain all of the aspects of spousal maintenance. Together, you’ll discuss whether you may be eligible to receive it. It’s very likely that you’ll need to bring in financial statements and other information so that you can prove to the court that you’re unable to keep up your standard of living without the payments, and your attorney will tell you which documents can serve as proof.