Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state, which means that you don’t have to prove that your spouse is guilty of something in order to get a divorce. (Your spouse doesn’t have to say that you’re guilty of something, either.) However, if your spouse cheated – or if you did – will that affect alimony (technically called spousal support) in your case? Here’s what you need to know.
Does Cheating Affect Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce?
You don’t have to prove fault to get a divorce, but if your spouse cheats on you (or if you’re caught cheating), it can affect some aspects of your divorce. Alimony is not one of them, though. Wisconsin courts are not allowed to consider infidelity when making an alimony award. Instead, judges can consider:
- How long you were married
- Each spouse’s age and emotional health
- How your property is divided in your divorce
- Both spouses’ educational levels at the time of the marriage compared to the time of the divorce
- How much money each spouse has the capacity to earn through educational background, employment skills, work experience, length of time unemployed during the marriage and responsibilities toward kids
- Whether the supported spouse is likely to become self-supporting enough to meet a similar standard of living as the couple enjoyed while married, as well as how long it would take the supported spouse to achieve that goal
- Tax consequences to each spouse
- Premarital or postmarital agreements
- Whether one spouse contributed to the education or increased earning power of the other spouse
- Other factors the court believes are relevant
Why Do Some People Get Spousal Support in Wisconsin?
The purpose of alimony is to ensure that one spouse – typically the lower-earning one – doesn’t starve or lose his or her home as a result of the divorce. Spousal support is there to provide, not to punish a bad spouse.
Related: Wisconsin alimony calculator
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Spousal Support?
We can help you through your divorce, and we’ll be happy to talk to you about spousal support during a free consultation. Call us at 414-383-6700 now to schedule a time to talk to an experienced Wisconsin divorce attorney.