During the divorce process, there are numerous complex issues that will need to be addressed. While this is true in any divorce, the financial matters that will need to be addressed in a high net worth divorce can be especially complicated and challenging to resolve. Spousal support is one of the key issues that may arise in these cases. To determine the role that spousal support may play in a high asset divorce, it is important to work with an experienced attorney.
How Spousal Support Is Addressed in a Wisconsin Divorce
Spousal support, which may also be referred to as maintenance or alimony, consists of payments made by a person to their ex-spouse after the couple’s divorce. In Wisconsin, spousal support is not automatically awarded in every divorce case. Instead, the need for maintenance will be determined based on several factors outlined in state law. These factors include:
The length of the marriage – In general, spousal support is more likely to be awarded in longer marriages, but it may be appropriate in shorter marriages as well based on the circumstances and needs of the parties.
The age and physical and emotional health of each spouse – The court may consider how each spouse’s age and health may affect their ability to support themselves and manage other ongoing responsibilities.
The division of property and assets – To evaluate the financial resources that will be available to each spouse, the court may consider how assets and debts will be allocated between them, whether either party has separately-owned assets they can use to support themselves, and whether it may make more sense for a spouse to own certain assets instead of receiving spousal support.
Each spouse’s education level and earning capacity – The amount of income each spouse is able to earn based on their previous work experience and education will be one of the most important issues affecting spousal support. If one spouse will be unable to earn enough income to maintain the standard of living they had while the couple was married, they may be able to receive maintenance payments.
Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage – In addition to considering the income spouses earned, the court may look at what other ways they supported their family. Homemaking, child-rearing responsibilities, and assistance pursuing educational opportunities may be considered.
Any agreements between the spouses – In cases where a couple has a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that decides whether spousal support will or will not be paid, these terms will most likely be followed, although other factors may also be considered.
When it comes to high net worth divorces, the court will take into account the lifestyle enjoyed during the marriage and whether any significant income disparities between spouses will affect each party’s ability to maintain their accustomed lifestyle. If spousal support is deemed appropriate, complex financial factors related to substantial assets and income streams may need to be considered to determine the amount that should be paid.