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Family — maintenance

Wisconsin Court of Appeals


Family — maintenance

Kenneth Christner appeals the portion of a judgment of divorce in which the circuit court denied him an award of maintenance, following his 24-year marriage to Bonnie Christner. Ken contends that the court erroneously exercised it discretion in making the maintenance decision, based on what he argues were “four distinct but related errors.”

Ken’s most substantial arguments are that the circuit court failed to recognize that the “foundation” for Bonnie’s highest, post-separation income was “laid during the marriage,” and that the court improperly based its maintenance decision in part on a finding that Ken did not sacrifice his earning capacity for the marriage. That is, Ken argues that his contributions helped provide the “foundation” for Bonnie’s post-separation income, and that the court should have “avoid[ed] an inquiry into the relative contributions of the spouses” in its determination regarding maintenance and instead assumed that their contributions were “roughly equal.”

We conclude that the court properly applied the pertinent law to its factual findings. As to the arguments about the “foundation” of Bonnie’s income-earning capacity and the parties’ relative contributions, we conclude that Ken’s arguments fail in light of extensive, pertinent fact finding conducted by the circuit court, and our application of precedent, including Gerth v. Gerth, 159 Wis. 2d 678, 465 N.W.2d 507 (Ct. App. 1990), to those facts.

Accordingly, we affirm the judgment. Not recommended for publication in the official reports.

2013AP985 In re the marriage of: Christner v. Christner

Dist IV, Portage County, Eagon, J., Blanchard, P.J.

Attorneys: For Appellant: Lauterbach, Michael J., Stevens Point; For Respondent: Christner, Bonnie L., pro se

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