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Fairly Sharing Costs Through Financial Support Arrangements

Child support and maintenance are often contentious topics. The support-paying party may have concerns about the amount they pay or how the other party will use the money. The support-receiving party may also have concerns about the amount as well as issues of nonpayment or delayed payment.

At Musial & Friedrich, S.C., our attorneys passionately advocate for parents, former spouses and children. Whether you anticipate paying or receiving support, our experienced legal team can work toward a fair outcome. In divorce proceedings, child custody disputes and post-judgment enforcement, we will be your allies.

Child Support Primarily Serves The Child

Child support is set depending on a number of factors, including the number of children, their placement schedule, the parents’ respective incomes, and the parents’ sharing of the children’s costs. In general, in Wisconsin, child support is set based upon guidelines, unless the court determines or the parties agree to do otherwise.

In addition to regular child support payments, parents and the court need to determine how the parties will pay their children’s future variable costs, including child care costs, uninsured health care costs and expenses for the children’s activities. They also need to determine how the dependency exemption(s) will be allocated.

How Spousal Maintenance Is Determined

Maintenance is the word Wisconsin courts use for alimony or support from one spouse for the other. Maintenance ends at the death of either party, the remarriage of the recipient, or on a date as agreed by the parties or ordered by the judge.

Wisconsin statutes set out several factors the court must consider in deciding whether or not the maintenance should be awarded, and if so, the amount of the payments and how long they must be paid. In general, the court must consider the need of a dependent spouse for support, the ability of the other party to pay the support, the contributions of each party to the other party’s education or earning power, or to their marriage and the fairness of the overall settlement, including the property division.

If maintenance is ordered as part of the parties’ final judgment of divorce, the court usually retains the power to make changes in the maintenance order after the divorce is done, if there is a substantial change in the parties’ financial circumstances. On the other hand, if parties waive, or give up, maintenance as part of their final settlement or judgment, then they can never ask the court for maintenance in the future.

Seek Legal Advice For Your Finances

Whether your case involves the care of a child or preserving a lifestyle, support and maintenance are critical subjects. Our Madison-based attorneys can counsel and represent you. Call 608-807-1044 or email our firm in Wisconsin for a free family law consultation.