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Kevin O'Flaherty

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a payment made by one spouse to the other after a divorce to provide financial support. In Wisconsin, alimony is based on several factors, including the length of the marriage, the earning potential of each spouse, and the standard of living established during the marriage. But what happens if one spouse cheats? Can you receive more alimony if your spouse cheats in Wisconsin?  

No-Fault Divorce State  

Wisconsin is a "no-fault" divorce state, meaning the court does not consider fault or misconduct when determining issues such as alimony. In other words, the fact that your spouse cheated does not automatically entitle you to more alimony. Instead, the court will consider the same factors in any other divorce case.  

Factors Considered for Alimony  

Under Wisconsin law, the court will consider several factors when determining the amount and duration of alimony payments, including:  

  • The length of the marriage  
  • The age and health of each spouse  
  • The education and earning capacity of each spouse  
  • The standard of living established during the marriage  
  • The contribution of each spouse to the marriage, including homemaking and child-rearing  
  • The property division in the divorce  
  • Any other factors that the court considers relevant  
alimony paperwork with wedding bands and coins

While the fact that your spouse cheated may not be a direct factor in determining alimony, it could indirectly affect some of these factors. For example, if your spouse's affair led to a significant decrease in your standard of living during the marriage, that could be considered when determining alimony. For a general overview of Wisconsin alimony law read our article, Wisconsin Alimony Law Changes 2023.  

Exceptions to No-Fault Divorce  

While Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state, there are some limited exceptions where a fault may be considered. For example, if one spouse intentionally wastes or dissipates marital assets, such as by spending money on an affair, the court may consider that when dividing property in the divorce. Additionally, suppose one spouse's behavior was so egregious that it affected the children or their ability to co-parent after the divorce. In that case, that may be considered when determining custody and placement.  

In conclusion, while your spouse's cheating may be emotionally devastating, it may not directly impact the amount of alimony you receive in Wisconsin. However, consulting with an experienced family law attorney is still essential to determine your rights and options in your specific case.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.

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