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Good morning. I certainly understand your concern. There is no exact formula, which the court uses, to determine the amount. Instead, the court looks tries to follow on the follow 10 factors, in determining the amount which should be awarded. Spousal Maintenance awards are granted pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes § 767.26.
Under this law the courts are guided by ten factors that should be considered in
determining a spousal maintenance award. The factors include:
- The length of the marriage.
- The age and physical and emotional health of the parties.
- The division of property made in the divorce.
- The educational level of each party at the time of marriage and at the time
the action is commenced.
- The earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance, including educational
background, training, employment skills, work experience, length of absence from
the job market, custodial responsibilities for children and the time and expense
necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party to
find appropriate employment.
- The feasibility that the party seeking maintenance can be-come
self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed
during the marriage, and, if so, the length of time necessary to achieve this
- The tax consequences to each party.
- Any mutual agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage,
according to the terms of which one party has made financial or service
contributions to the other with the expectation of reciprocation or other
compensation in the future, where such repayment has not been made, or any
mutual agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage concerning
any arrangement for the financial support of the parties.
- The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased
earning power of the other.
- Such other factors as the court may in each individual case determine to be
If you were in a long term marriage (fifteen years or more), often Wisconsin trial courts begin their evaluation of spousal maintenance with the proposition that a spouse that is dependant on the other for financial support is entitled to 50% of the
earnings of both parties. This is considered to be a starting point for equalizing the standard of living for each party. You would need to determine what your expesenses are and cost of living and use that along with the factors above, to request an amount which you need to be able to support yourself.
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