A Short Guide to Wisconsin Alimony Calculators
Wisconsin Alimony Calculator Definition
It is a common misconception that alimony calculators exist in most states, with which you can estimate your eventual alimony award based on several variables related to your income. The truth is that in states like Wisconsin, alimony awards are completely at the discretion of judges, so no Wisconsin alimony calculator can be anything like accurate. However, if you need to have an idea of what the judge might order, there are a few easy ways to simulate your own Wisconsin alimony calculator.
Step 1: Approximate Wisconsin Alimony Calculator
If you can’t find an official alimony calculator for Wisconsin, then the best solution is to use a general formula alimony calculator and then later improve it. To get started, just follow these easy directions:
1. Calculate your joint married standard of living adding up the total costs incurred by you and your spouse over a year. If time was spent separated prior to divorce, then only start at the last point of cohabitation and work backward for a year. Don’t include any costs for children or anyone else besides the married couple. For an example, let’s say that you and your spouse had costs of $70,000 for a year.
2. Divide the joint married standard of living in 2 to find the individual married standard of living. In the example above, the individual standard of living is $35,000.
3. Deduct from the individual married standard of living the income of the lower income individual. If you make $60,000 annual and your spouse makes $20,000, you would deduct $20,000 from the $35,000 to get $15,000. This is the amount we are looking for, since it represents an alimony figure to keep the lower-income spouse living at a quality of life equal to that established during the marriage.
4. If you want to see the monthly alimony payments, divide the amount found in Step #3 by 12. For our example, the monthly alimony would be $1,250.
Step 2: Improve the Wisconsin Alimony Calculator
The above figure is still very approximate. If you want to make it more accurate, you have to look at your situation as a judge would, in light of all the elements they are ordered to take into consideration. Here are a few:
• The length of the marriage, as it should be at least five years long;
• Whether it is appropriate for both spouses to work outside the home, or if it is not because of age, physical or mental condition, or physical guardianship of a child or disabled person;
• If additional education is needed for a spouse to enter the workforce;
• If it is possible for the spouse paying alimony to maintain the individual married standard of living while paying alimony;
• Whether one spouse contributed to the education or earning ability of the other.
The above elements are taken from Wisconsin Statute 767.56. Read it here.