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Heather Jones

There is no defined mathematical formula that the courts use to calculate alimony in Wisconsin. The courts decide alimony or spousal support in Wisconsin on a case by case basis using a variety of factors. Wisconsin spousal support is referred to as “maintenance” in Wisconsin.  

Wisconsin Alimony

In Wisconsin alimony is typically referred to as “maintenance” or “spousal maintenance.” The court will decide spousal maintenance on a case by case basis. The point of the court awarding maintenance is generally so that a party can continue the standard of living they were accustomed to during the marriage. Alimony in Wisconsin is usually calculated so that one party receives a certain amount of money for a certain amount of time, depending on the facts and circumstances of each case.  

If you want to know more about asking for alimony in Wisconsin read our article, How Do I Get Alimony in Wisconsin?

Considerations When Calculating Alimony in Wisconsin

When the court is calculating spousal support or maintenance in Wisconsin it will generally look at the following factors:

  • How long the parties were married
  • The property division between the parties
  • The age and health of the parties
  • Educational level achieved by each party both at the time of the marriage and before
  • What the party asking for support is capable of earning
  • Any pre-marital agreement between the parties
  • Did the party asking for support contribute to the other parties educational achievements or earning capacity?
  • Has the lower income party been away from the workforce for many years?
  • Has the requesting spouse completed a vocational assessment?

As you can see, there is no set formula for calculating alimony in Wisconsin. The court will look at the facts and circumstances of your case and make its decision.  

Length of the marriage

Any marriage that lasted  five - seven years or less is considered a “short term” marriage and the court does not tend to award any alimony when a short term marriage ends. The longer your marriage lasted, and depending on the above factors, the longer you could be eligible for alimony.  

Read here if you would like to know more about when alimony in Wisconsin ends.

Types of Alimony in Wisconsin

Temporary Support

When a party files for divorce in Wisconsin they are able to ask the court for an order granting them temporary support until the divorce is final. This type of support is intended to last until a final decree of divorce is granted, along with any alimony the court judges should be awarded. Parties can ask for both temporary child support and temporary spousal support in Wisconsin.

Permanent support

This type of alimony in Wisconsin is granted with the divorce. The amount paid can vary depending on the circumstances of the parties. It can go on for an indefinite period. It ends when one party dies or remarries. This type of alimony is less common. Even if alimony is granted for a span of years, there is often an end given. The court will look at the specific facts and circumstances surrounding your particular case.  

Lump Sum

Just as the title suggests, this is all alimony paid all at once. Instead of paying monthly over years, a lump sum payment is made.  


Also just like the title suggests, this is a form of alimony that is intended to pay back the other spouse for support given during the marriage, The most common example would be one spouse fully supporting the other while they went back to school. Reimbursement alimony ends when the pre-determined amount is reimbursed and thus falls under the category of temporary support.

In summary Wisconsin does not have a set formula to calculate alimony. The court simply has to look at a variety of factors and render its decision based on the individual circumstances of the case.  

If you want to request alimony in Wisconsin, or are concerned that you may end up paying too much alimony, you should consult with an experienced Wisconsin family law attorney about your individual situation and what strategies you can use when dealing with the issue of alimony. Divorce can be a stressful and uncertain process and having an experienced advocate in your corner can alleviate a great deal of that stress and uncertainty. Feel free to give us a call to discuss your options.  

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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