How much and how long could I expect in alimony if I divorced in Wisconsin?

Asked over 1 year ago - Janesville, WI

I have been married for 26 years . I left my career path to support my husbands career and to raise our 3 children . I have raised the kids mainly by myself as he traveled a lot and was busy with his own interests . I have been solely responsible for all upkeep inside the home on a daily basis including cleaning , laundry , cooking some repairs as well as much of the outside maintenance if it was not hired out . VERY occasionally my husband has done any manual work at home . I have also worked part time jobs throughout the years as well as been very active in the children school and even home schooled for several years . I now have chronic Lyme disease and am not able to work outside the home .

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Teri M. Nelson

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree


    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . The presumption, or starting point, in awarding maintenance in Wisconsin is to equalize incomes. The courts generally believe that after 26 years, you are entitled to the same income as your spouse and the same lifestyle you enjoyed during the marriage. Your in-home contributions are valid and count the same as if you had been working full-time, especially if it assisted him and contributed to his earning capacity. Both parties are expected to work after the divorce but if you have a medical excuse, the court would take that into consideration. You should probably apply for social security/disability if you truly can't work.

    After 26 years, maintenance would be indefinite which really means until he retires or until you remarry.

    You should hire an experienced divorce attorney to assist you. Maintenance cases can be difficult and you need help for the best possible result.

  2. Jeffrey W. Jensen


    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . Maintenance is a payment from one spouse to the other, after a divorce, intended to equalize the income. In deciding whether to award maintenance, the court takes into account numerous factors, include: length of marriage, comparative income of the parties, health, educational/employment opportunities lost due to family care, and the ability to pay. Thus, you certainly seem to be a candidate for maintenance; however, with the information you've given, there is no way that a lawyer can hazard a guess as to what the payment might be nor the term of the payments.

    This answer is for informational purposes only. By answering this question, no attorney/client relationship is... more
  3. Herbert C. Liebmann IV

    Contributor Level 5


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . In Wisconsin alimony is referred to as maintenance. There is no specific formula and each judge develops his or her own preferences and would look at both parties education, earning capacity and current employment/income. Another factor to consider is what the total family income is and has been. In a marriage longer than 20 years, many judges would award maintenance but not for an indefinite length of time.

  4. James CW Bock


    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . First and foremost, seek assistance of an experienced family law attorney before you make a decision in this matter. I have handled numerous divorces in long term marriages. I have appeared as co-counsel in Rock County, and I get to the Janesville area a few times a year on state bar business. I would be happy to provide you a no-obligation, confidential, free 20-minute consultation if you wish to discuss your situation. Good luck.

Related Topics


Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.


Alimony is the regular monetary allowance one ex-spouse may be required to pay the other after a divorce.

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