Amount of Spousal Maintenance Determined by Trial Court

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Determining the amount and duration of spousal maintenance is left to the sound discretion of the trial court. Wikel v. Wikel, 168 Wis. 2d 278, 483 N.W.2d 292 (Ct. App. 1992). In Wisconsin, the purpose of spousal support is to: a) support the recipient according to the parties’ needs and earning capacities; and b) ensure a fair and equitable financial arrangement. LaRocque v. LaRocque, 139 Wis. 2d 23, 406 N.W.2d 736 (1987). The starting point for a spousal maintenance evaluation of a long-term marriage is to consider an equal division of total income. Schmitt v. Schmitt, 201 WI App. 78, 242 Wis. 2d 565, 626 N.W.2d 14.

The recent unpublished case of Pascual, involved the trial court evaluating a thirty-two marriage with the wife making $73,000/yr and the husband earning $22,000/yr and having an earning capacity of $35,000/yr. The husband also operated a Comic Book Store and the amount of…

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