Alimony is the amount of money a person is required to pay his or her ex-spouse after separation and divorce. In most states, there are specific formulas that determine how much alimony will be paid out in the case of divorce. However, there are no set formulas in place in Wisconsin.
The length of the marriage and the earnings of the ex-spouses are normally taken into account when making alimony decisions in Wisconsin. However, courts may also consider intangible factors like a person’s health, how long he or she has been out of the workforce to take care of the family, and property division agreements between both parties. A Milwaukee family law attorney can help you understand how judges determine what an ex-spouse will receive in terms of alimony.
We will now look into some important factors considered in calculating alimony.
The length of the marriage
One of the most important factors used in calculating alimony is the length of the marriage. A shorter marriage means that the ex-spouse must pay less alimony. For example, if a court had to decide on whether or not an ex-spouse would receive $3,500 per month or $5,000 per month for a marriage of seven years and five months, the ex-spouse receiving only $3,500 per month will have to pay less alimony than he or she would have had to pay for $5,000 per month.
Age of both spouses
A court will also consider how old the parties were when they got married and how long they have been living together while calculating alimony. In case an ex-spouse has been a stay-at-home parent, a court may decide to give him or her more alimony.
Education and work history of both parties
The court also considers an ex-spouse’s education level and work experience since these factors determine what types of employment opportunities he or she has in the future and how much money he or she can make. Another thing a court looks at is how much time an ex-spouse has spent looking for a job post-divorce.
The earning capacity of both spouses
The earning capacity of both parties is used in determining the amount of alimony to be paid each month. An ex-spouse with a high income will have to pay more alimony than an ex-spouse who has a poor income since this spouse can better support him or herself.