Consideration of criminal conduct was not prohibited as it was not related to reasons for the breakup of the marriage.
Limiting maintenance to 4 years in a nearly 34 year marriage is not consistent with Wisconsin law, even though the court found a tacit agreement during the marriage that husband would retire no later than age sixty in exchange for wife not working outside the home.
Court did not misuse its discretion in awarding ten years of maintenance in a ten year marriage by considering the “opulent lifestyle” of the parties.
Unlike in DeLaMatter, in this case, wife did not refuse treatment for alcoholism. Unsuccessful treatment is not the same as refusing treatment. By reducing maintenance that did not come close providing wife with adequate support, the trial court did not give full play to the support and fairness objectives of maintenance.
Trial court erred by disregarding evidence of financial benefits wife was receiving from a cohabitation relationship. Maintenance determinations should be made based on the parties’ financial circumstances at the time the determination is made, not on unfounded predictions of the future.
Court’s authority to order maintenance encompasses the authority to impose obligations on the payer to ensure compliance if the obligations are reasonably necessary. Here, trial court failed to explain how restrictions on moonlighting for free were necessary.
Court can consider premarital cohabitation as a factor in maintenance under §767.26(9) Wis. Stats.
Trial court erroneously exercised its discretion by stating that a spouse has a legal right to maintenance.
Denial of maintenance affirmed where court took into account the property division in a short term marriage.
In denying maintenance to husband, the trial court properly considered that wife is required to make child support payments and provide health insurance for the minor children, as well that wife’s professional degree and successful business were made without any sacrifice from husband.
Court properly held open maintenance to wife due to her health, but court should have specifically limited the hold open to health concerns. Expert testimony was not necessary for wife to establish health problems.
Denial of maintenance to women who conspired to have husband killed affirmed: misconduct is not marital misconduct. Thus, trial court did not err is considering it under sub. (10)
Award to wife of equity in home as her separate property does not disqualify her from maintenance.
Premarital contributions as unmarried cohabitator is not a relevant factor on wife’s maintenance claim. Overruled in Meyer, 2000 WI 382, 239 Wis. 2d 73.
Refusal by an alcoholic spouse of medically recommended treatment is a relevant factor in the court’s maintenance decision.
(1) Court need not consider all statutory factors in making a maintenance determination. (2) Insufficient record in this case to support more maintenance – testimony of physical ailments were not linked to a limitation on her ability to work. Also, the testimony on plans for future schooling was speculative.
Maintenance is not based solely on need – it is not limited to those situations where a spouse cannot support his or her self.
Debts incurred after commencement may affect ability to pay maintenance.
Award of maintenance is a discretionary determination which, to be sustained, must be based on facts in the record and the appropriate and applicable law.
Maintenance not limited to just cases of need. It is to be a flexible tool to ensure a fair and equitable determination in each individual case.