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Do You Have to Keep Paying Alimony if Your Former Spouse Remarries?

By Carlos Gamino

In the state of Wisconsin, courts sometimes order one spouse to pay the other alimony (commonly called spousal support or spousal maintenance). Usually, spousal support is only payable under certain conditions, and the payer may stop paying if certain things happen. This guide explains whether you have to continue paying alimony after your former spouse remarries.

Do You Have to Keep Paying Alimony if Your Former Spouse Remarries?

Your obligation to pay your former spouse alimony ends if they remarry. That’s because the money you were supposed to pay was intended to ensure that your former spouse had an income source; the courts assume that when a person remarries, their new spouse becomes responsible for providing that income.

Related: Alimony laws in Wisconsin

What Should You Do to Modify Your Alimony Payments When Your Former Spouse Remarries?

One of the most common reasons people terminate alimony is the remarriage of a former spouse. When you are the payor, your attorney can petition the court to ask it to terminate your support order. Your attorney will cite a change in circumstances that makes the support unnecessary.

What if Your Former Spouse Only Moves in With Someone but Doesn’t Get Remarried?

It is possible to terminate a support order if your spouse moves in with someone without getting remarried. Your attorney can point out the change in your former spouse’s financial circumstances, particularly when the person you are spouse moves in with is capable of paying some of the bills and sharing some of the cost of living.

Related: Will alimony be awarded in my divorce?

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Modifying Your Alimony Payments?

If your former spouse has remarried or moved in with someone, you may be able to modify your alimony payments or have them terminated altogether. The best way to learn about your options is to discuss you are situation with a family law attorney in Wisconsin. Call our office at 414-383-6700 to schedule a consultation; if it’s easier, you can schedule a consultation with a family law attorney on our team online. We can give you the guidance you need to begin moving forward.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-07-19T14:11:29-05:00June 6th, 2022|Family Law|Comments Off on Do You Have to Keep Paying Alimony if Your Former Spouse Remarries?

What Happens if You Don’t Make Alimony Payments in Wisconsin?

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re like many people, the judge in your divorce case has ordered you to pay alimony – sometimes called spousal support or spousal maintenance – to your former spouse. But what happens if you don’t pay alimony in Wisconsin? Will the courts come after you, garnish your wages, or hit you with criminal penalties? This guide explains.

What if You Don’t Pay Alimony in Wisconsin?

When a judge orders you to pay alimony, whether it’s through a stand-alone order (such as one issued during divorce proceedings) or through your marital settlement agreement, you have to do so – it’s a legally binding order.

If you fail to hold up your end of the bargain and make your alimony payments, your former spouse can bring up the matter with the judge in your case. The judge can then choose to order you to pay any outstanding amounts or order that you sell securities to make your payments. The judge might also enter a contempt of court order or order your employer to garnish your wages, as well.

What is a Contempt of Court Order?

If your ex’s attorney files a contempt motion, you’ll have to appear in court for a hearing. At your hearing, both you and your ex will have the opportunity to explain what’s going on. If the judge finds that you purposely avoided paying your alimony, they can order you to go to jail until you’ve paid the past-due amount in full. The judge can even order you to pay fines and your ex’s legal fees for having to take you to court to get payment.

Garnished Wages for Alimony

The judge may order your employer to take part of your earnings and send them to the court before you get your paychecks. The court gives that money to your ex-spouse.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Non-Payment of Alimony?

Whether your ex is accusing you of purposely failing to make your alimony payments or you’re the spouse who is supposed to receive them, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 now to schedule your free consultation.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-17T09:15:48-05:00September 1st, 2021|Family Law|Comments Off on What Happens if You Don’t Make Alimony Payments in Wisconsin?

Does Cheating Affect Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce?

Does Cheating Affect Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

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

Related: Will you have to pay spousal support?

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.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-17T10:17:21-05:00October 12th, 2020|Family Law|Comments Off on Does Cheating Affect Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce?

When Could a Judge Order Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce?

When Can You Get Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

If you and your spouse are splitting up, you may be wondering when you can get alimony in a Wisconsin divorce. For many people, alimony – commonly called maintenance or spousal support – is a big deal… and it’s not common for couples to agree on how much money should change hands. Here’s what you know about when a judge can order alimony, how much it might be, and how long you or your spouse will receive it.

When Can You Get Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce?

Alimony is support typically reserved for spouses who need some time to become self-sustaining after a divorce. It’s not a payment that the courts take lightly – and in order for a judge to award it, one party must let the court know that it’s necessary.  

Couples are free to agree on spousal maintenance on their own. However, if a couple can’t agree and one spouse feels he or she needs it, the courts will make a decision. Judges consider several factors in determining maintenance, including:

  • How long the couple was married
  • Both spouses’ ages and physical health, including emotional health
  • How the couple’s property was divided
  • How much education each spouse has
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity
  • Whether the spouse who wants maintenance can eventually become self-sustaining, and how long that will take
  • The tax consequences to both parties
  • One spouse’s contribution to the other’s career, education, training or increased earning power
  • Other relevant factors

Related: Wisconsin alimony calculator

How Long Does Maintenance Last?

Spousal maintenance can last as long as the judge says it will. Some court orders for alimony last only a short time – but some can last a lifetime. In some cases, support continues until one spouse dies or remarries.

Related: Are you entitled to alimony during your divorce?

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce?

If you’re considering divorce and want to find out more about alimony, whether you’re going to be the one paying it or you’re likely to receive it, we can help. Call us at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation or contact us online. We’ll be happy to answer your questions about child custody, child support, alimony and other important aspects of divorce.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-17T12:25:33-05:00March 12th, 2020|Family Law|Comments Off on When Could a Judge Order Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce?

Will You Have to Pay Spousal Maintenance?

What’s the Deal With Spousal Maintenance - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

A lot of people in Wisconsin are required to pay – or are entitled to receive – spousal maintenance. If you’re one of them, you need to know how it all works, and this guide breaks it down.

What is Spousal Maintenance?

Spousal maintenance is a sum of money that one party has to pay the other in a divorce case. Usually, it’s intended to provide only temporary financial support to the spouse who earns less or was financially dependent on the other spouse during the marriage.

How Does the Court Determine Spousal Maintenance Amounts?

The state of Wisconsin doesn’t have an official formula for figuring out spousal maintenance. (It does for determining child support, but that’s another story.) However, the judge will look at several factors that are outlined in Wisconsin law, including:

  • How long you were married
  • How old you both are
  • How physically and emotionally healthy you are
  • How your property was divided
  • Each party’s educational level, both at the beginning of the marriage and at the end
  • The seeking party’s ability to earn enough money to support him- or herself
  • Tax consequences for each party
  • Whether it’s reasonable to expect the seeking party to become self-supporting and reach the standard of living enjoyed during the marriage
  • Whether you have a prenuptial agreement
  • The contributions you each made to the other’s career or education
  • Any other factors the court feels are relevant

How Long Does a Spousal Maintenance Order Last?

The spousal maintenance the court orders in your case could range from a few months to several years – it all depends on the judge’s evaluation of financial need and ability.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Spousal Maintenance?

If you’re going through a divorce, it may be a good idea to ask your attorney a few questions about spousal maintenance and how the law might apply in your case.

Call us at 484-383-6700 for your free case review. You’ll talk to a compassionate, experienced attorney who can explain what could happen in your case, and who can build a strategy that gets you the best possible outcome.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-23T16:27:09-05:00November 27th, 2019|Family Law|Comments Off on Will You Have to Pay Spousal Maintenance?

How Alimony Calculation Works in Wisconsin

Alimony Calculation in a Divorce - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Alimony calculation can be a little bit complicated in Wisconsin, but fortunately, you won’t have to do the math yourself.

Alimony, which is technically called spousal maintenance, is support given from one spouse to another during and after a divorce. The money is designed to help the receiving spouse get on his or her feet, and it can be awarded for a certain period of time or indefinitely.

How Do Judges Determine Alimony?

Judges determine how much alimony to award a financially dependent spouse by considering several factors, including:

  • How much money the couple made when they pooled their incomes
  • How much money each spouse has when they’re separated
  • Expenses of both parties
  • Whether each spouse has the ability to support him- or herself
  • How old each spouse is
  • Whether there are special circumstances, such as one spouse being unable to work for some reason
  • The tax consequences for both parties involved

The court will also consider the future earning capacity of each spouse, based on his or her educational level (and whether one spouse contributed to the education or earning power of the other).

Will You Definitely Pay or Receive Alimony?

There’s no way to predict whether a judge will order alimony in any case. Because the factors can vary so much in every case, it really is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Can Alimony Calculations Change Over Time?

A court can change the alimony calculation it has performed if there’s a good reason to change it. Courts will look for a substantial change in circumstances (such as one spouse losing his or her job, remarrying or paying more in living costs).

Do You Need to Talk to a Milwaukee Alimony Lawyer?

If you’re divorcing and you need to talk to an attorney who understands alimony in Wisconsin, whether you’ll have to pay it or you’ll receive it, we’re here to help.

Call us at 414-383-6700 for a free divorce case review. We’ll answer your questions and provide you with specific legal advice you can use to begin moving forward with your life.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-25T12:25:38-05:00November 24th, 2019|Family Law|Comments Off on How Alimony Calculation Works in Wisconsin

Are You Entitled to Alimony During Your Divorce?

Are You Entitled to Alimony - Wisconsin Alimony Lawyer

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re going through a divorce in Waukesha, Milwaukee, or any of the surrounding communities, Wisconsin law says that you may be entitled to receive alimony.

Not everyone fits the bill; divorce doesn’t automatically mean that you’re entitled to money from your spouse. (Child support is a completely different issue, though.)

What is Alimony?

Alimony, which Wisconsin law calls spousal maintenance, is a payment from one spouse to another to help the other get on his or her feet after divorce.

Either spouse can request spousal maintenance in the state of Wisconsin, and in many cases, people don’t even need the courts to step in and decide. Some people are able to agree on the amount and duration of alimony payments on their own.

If you and your spouse can agree on alimony, let your Wisconsin divorce lawyer know; your attorney can put together a marital settlement agreement.

If you can’t agree, the court will decide whether to award any alimony, the dollar amount, and how long the payments will continue.

How Much Alimony Could You Get?

There’s no formula for determining alimony in the state of Wisconsin. However, the courts use several factors to determine a fair amount, including:

  • The length of the marriage
  • How old each spouse is
  • Each spouse’s physical health
  • Each spouse’s mental health
  • How your marital property and individual property has been divided

Do You Need to Talk to a Waukesha Divorce Lawyer About Alimony?

While only a judge can order alimony payments, your attorney can help you figure out how much alimony you should ask for if you and your spouse haven’t already reached an agreement. (You can also use our Wisconsin alimony calculator to figure out how much money you had when you were married versus how much you’ll have once you’re divorced.)

Call us at 414-383-6700 for your free consultation with a divorce lawyer. We’ll fight hard to protect you and your children during divorce — and if you need alimony, we’ll help you petition the court for it.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-25T14:22:53-05:00November 24th, 2019|Family Law|Comments Off on Are You Entitled to Alimony During Your Divorce?

Will You Get Alimony?

Will You Get Alimony? - Milwaukee Divorce Lawyer

If you’re like most people, money is on your mind when you’re going through a divorce. As a son-to-be single, you’re probably wondering about alimony, or spousal support, and calculating how much you’ll get or how much you’ll have to pay.

While there’s no exact formula to determine the amount of spousal maintenance that will change hands (it’s generally based on so many factors that every case is evaluated independently), there are some ground rules about who’s entitled to receive alimony.

Who Gets Spousal Maintenance in Wisconsin?

In the state of Wisconsin, the spouse who has less capability of earning enough money is more likely to receive alimony. Your Milwaukee divorce lawyer will petition the court for alimony if you need it, so make sure all of you financial paperwork is in order; your attorney is going to need to show the judge your circumstances.

Judges consider several factors in determining whether someone is entitled to spousal maintenance, including:

  • How much money each of you makes
  • How much you have to spend on living expenses
  • Whether you can support yourself
  • How old you are
  • Whether you have special circumstances
  • The potential tax consequences for you and your ex-spouse

It’s not necessarily true that if one partner makes $100,000 per year and the other makes $30,000 that someone is going to be entitled to alimony. Wisconsin judges look at alimony on a case-by-case basis to determine need and to establish dollar amounts.

How Long Does Spousal Maintenance Last?

The duration of time that one of you will pay spousal maintenance—if any alimony changes hands at all—depends on your case. Your Milwaukee divorce attorney will talk with you about what you need or what you’re willing to pay, and he or she will bring that to the judge with a long list of justifications. You may receive spousal support or have to pay it for a few months, a few years, or longer.

By |2021-08-01T11:16:06-05:00November 19th, 2019|Family Law|Comments Off on Will You Get Alimony?

Should You Give Your Ex Money During Your Divorce?

Should You Give Your Ex Money During Your Divorce - Milwaukee Family Lawyer

Divorce is a huge financial strain on most couples, and your Milwaukee family lawyer could probably tell you stories that would make you clutch your checkbook in terror. Even if you think you’ll be fine, surprises pop up at the most inopportune times (like in the middle of your divorce) that can turn a healthy bank account into a closed one.

So what happens if you’re doing fine and your ex asks you for money? Should you open your purse strings, dash off a check or pull some of your own hard-earned cash out of an ATM?

Handing Over the Cash: Are You a Good Samaritan or Seriously Misguided?

If your ex asks you for money, call your Milwaukee divorce lawyer right away. Don’t commit to anything, either way, no matter how tempted you are. Your attorney can give you case-specific advice on whether it will help you or hurt you.

Your lawyer might also tell you that it’s up to you. If it won’t affect your case, consider why your ex is asking for cash.

Will it go toward things your children need? Is he or she going to use it to support a personal lifestyle? Will the money help defray the cost of legitimate living expenses? Could your money end up in the hands of a new “significant other” instead?

Should you decide to give your ex money, no matter how much, you absolutely must keep a running tally. Give the money in a traceable form; no cash transactions, because there’s no paper trail. You’ll either need to use an online banking service such as PayPal or write checks. The key is giving your ex money that can be independently verified if it ever needs to be.

You’re Not a Bank

Remember the old story If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? Some exes turn out like that little mouse. Be careful that your ex doesn’t start seeing you as a source of income, even if you have the money to afford it. (If you’re not sure what alimony will do to your finances, check out our Wisconsin alimony calculator.)

No matter what you decide to do, make sure you keep your Milwaukee divorce attorney in the loop. He or she can give you the best advice when you keep them up-to-date on what’s going on behind the scenes,

By |2021-08-07T16:58:21-05:00November 17th, 2019|Family Law|Comments Off on Should You Give Your Ex Money During Your Divorce?

5 Things You Need to Know about Alimony

5 Things You Need to Know About Alimony - Wisconsin Divorce Lawyer

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.

By |2021-08-08T12:32:09-05:00November 16th, 2019|Family Law|Comments Off on 5 Things You Need to Know about Alimony


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