I am sorry to hear you are having to possibly deal with this; fortunately WI is rather liberal in awards of alimony.
The statute gives each individual judge great discretion, as there is a list of factors that the judge may consider; there is no calculator or guideline amount, rather it is up to the discretion of the judge, so that the judge can make an award that best suits the unique position of each couple. The statute is 767.56 and it states:
(1c) Factors to consider for granting. Upon a judgment of annulment, divorce, or legal separation, or in rendering a judgment in an action under s. 767.001 (1) (g) or (j), the court may grant an order requiring maintenance payments to either party for a limited or indefinite length of time, subject to sub. (2c), after considering all of the following:
(a) The length of the marriage.
(b) The age and physical and emotional health of the parties.
(c) The division of property made under s. 767.61.
(d) The educational level of each party at the time of marriage and at the time the action is commenced.
(e) 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.
(f) The feasibility that the party seeking maintenance can become 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 goal.
(g) The tax consequences to each party.
(h) 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, if the 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.
(i) The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other.
(j) Such other factors as the court may in each individual case determine to be relevant.
(2c) Terminates at death of payee or payer. Unless already terminated for another reason, maintenance granted under this section terminates upon the death of the payee or the payer, whichever occurs first.
Typically, the 20 year long marriage, with a traditional homemaker that either raises the children or supports the other's career, is the most likely candidate for ongoing alimony. The idea is for each party to be able to maintain the standard of living achieved during marriage, after taking into account both will live slightly lower due to the cost of maintaining 2 households.
If the supported spouse is young and it is feasible for that person to receive training/education to enter/reenter the job market, the court can order the other spouse to pay temporary support, and also to pay for the education/training. This is generally ordered when the spouse is most likely able to become self sufficient.
Since alimiony terminates upon the death of either spouse, it is important to require the supporting spouse to maintain an adequate life insurance policy, with the supported spouse as beneficiary, to ensure adequate support in the event of the supporting spouse's death.
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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.