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This article will attempt to answer the following questions: How long does alimony last in Wisconsin?, Can you stop alimony payments in Wisconsin?, Does spousal support last forever in Wisconsin?, and by the end of this article you should understand what alimony is for and how it may be modified.  

When Does Alimony End in Wisconsin?

If alimony sounds scary, its because it is. The responsibility to make monthly payments to your ex-spouse may last indefinitely. This article will attempt to answer the following questions:

How long does alimony last in Wisconsin?  

Can you stop alimony payments in Wisconsin?  

Does spousal support last forever in Wisconsin?  

By the end of this article you should understand what alimony is for and how it may be modified.  

How long does alimony last in Wisconsin?

The state statute Wis. Stat. § 767.56 states that unless already terminated for another reason, maintenance granted under this section terminates upon the death of the payee or the payer, whichever occurs first. The length of the order really depends on the length of the marriage and the disparity of the income between the parties. The purpose of alimony is to maintain a standard of living for the parties that they enjoyed prior to filing for divorce. The state of Wisconsin does not provide a statute with a specific time table and so the length of time for an order is truly at the Judge’s discretion.  


Can you stop alimony payments in Wisconsin?

Yes you can stop alimony payments in Wisconsin. Section 767.59 of the Wisconsin Statutes, titled Revision of support and maintenance orders, states that a court may review an order for maintenance on a petition, motion, or order to show cause of either of the parties. The court will have the power to revise and alter a support or maintenance order as to the amount and the payment length. A substantial change in the cost of living for the parties may be sufficient to support a revision of the amount of maintenance. The change of circumstance is carefully considered by the court as they will want to decide if the change was voluntary or made in bad faith. The order may be stayed temporarily until the party is back to their regular income or adjusted to the new income based off a percentage.

Does Spousal Support last forever in Wisconsin?

There is no requirement that spousal support last forever. Your judgment or marital settlement agreement will determine the length of time you will have to pay the support. The longer the marriage the more likely the court is to grant a lasting order. If the marriage is over 20 plus years, the court is fully within its power to grant an indefinite order for support. There are many factors the court considers that may change over time but for the changes to affect the order they must be found to be substantial. If your ex-spouse becomes the dependent of another person or cohabitates, it is possible that your support order may be modified or terminated. Wisconsin is not an at fault state, so they will not consider past transgressions when deciding if an order for maintenance is required. Wisconsin will however terminate alimony when it is not required at the discretion of the judge if a petition is filed.

An order for maintenance can last forever depending on the circumstances surrounding the original order and substantial changes. An experienced attorney in Wisconsin will know the law and how to apply them to your issues. By hiring our office, you are hiring a team that will fight for you. We know the law and are familiar with the issues. If you have any questions, please give us a call. 

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