Can my ex take me back to court to extend my alimony obligation, even though I’m just two payments away from being finished after 5 years?
In Wisconsin, where I practice, if the parties agreed in their divorce decree on maintenance that would be limited to a specific period of time, the party receiving maintenance can file a motion to extend the maintenance term (so long as the motion is filed before the maintenance term is actually over).
Whether or not the party filing the motion would be successful in getting a judge to order that the maintenance term be extended is incredibly case specific and depends on numerous factors.
For example, one factor the court will consider is the specific language in your divorce decree or in the court order that established the maintenance term.
If the specific language explains why the maintenance was limited to a specific period of time, such as an agreement that you would pay a shorter term of maintenance in exchange for her getting more of the property division, then a judge would probably be unlikely to extend the maintenance term.
However, if the language in your divorce decree is non-specific as to the purposes of ending the maintenance after five years, and it can be shown that there is a justifiable reason why the term should be extended, there is a possibility that a judge could order the time to be increased.
If your ex does file a motion to extend maintenance an attorney from Cordell and Cordell could certainly represent and defend you.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than information, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.
Mat Camp is a former Lexicon Services Online Editor, who focused on providing a comprehensive look into all aspects of the divorce experience. On MensDivorce.com, he concentrated on issues, such as parenting time, custodial rights, mediation, the division of assets, and so much more.
Mr. Camp used the wealth of experience of Cordell & Cordell attorneys to bring tangible answers to reader questions in Ask a Lawyer articles, as well as offer a step by step process through the divorce experience with Cordell & Cordell Co-Founder and Principal Partner Joseph E. Cordell in Divorce 101: A Guide for Men.
Mr. Camp used thorough research to highlight the challenging reality that those who go through divorce or child custody issues face. He helped foster the continued success of the Men’s Divorce Survival Guide, the Men’s Divorce Podcast, and the Men’s Divorce YouTube series “Attorney Bites.”