Wisconsin residents who are divorcing might find themselves negotiating over spousal support or alimony. Couples might negotiate the support agreement themselves, but if they are unable to do so, a family court judge will be the one who decides alimony payments.
Why should you negotiate with your ex-spouse?
Negotiating with your ex-spouse will give you both more control over the amount and length of payment and any other conditions you both agree to. If you are struggling to come to an agreement, you can have a mediator assist you in the process, thus avoiding having to go to court to settle the matter.
What if you and your spouse cannot agree on alimony payments?
In those cases, the judge decides. Calculations for support payments vary from state to state. In Wisconsin, the judge considers several factors before reaching an amount and timeframe for the payments. These factors include:
- The age of both spouses as well as their overall physical and mental health
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s estimated future earnings
- The educational level of each spouse as well as their work experience, skills and how long they have not been part of the workforce
- The cost of additional education to prepare for the workforce for the spouse who will receive spousal support
Additionally, courts will consider how the property was divided in the divorce settlement and custodial issues such as which parent has physical custody and if there are any child support payments involved. Finally, courts will take into consideration the receiving spouse’s standard of living before the divorce.
Whether you are able to negotiate with your ex-spouse when it comes to alimony or you go to court and let a judge decide, you might want to seek legal support from a family law lawyer. A lawyer may provide information on your state’s laws and the various options open to you.