Written by Anthony Hardie, DAV-WI Special Assistant
(DAVWI.blogspot.com) - The Wisconsin State Legislature has announced the creation of a “Special Committee on Review of Spousal Maintenance Awards in Divorce Proceedings,” which will convene in the 2011-12 legislative session that convenes next January.
The scope of committee at least theoretically could allow for consideration of DAV’s longstanding legislative goal of disallowing a veteran’s service-connected disability compensation from being subject to spousal maintenance in divorce settlements.
According to the committee’s charter:
The Special Committee is directed to study: (a) the purpose and goals of awarding maintenance; (b) making application of the maintenance considerations given in s. 767.56, Stats., more uniform and predictable; (c) whether the statutes should provide guidance to the courts relating to amount and duration of a maintenance award; (d) whether cohabitation should be considered when revising maintenance orders under s. 767.59, Stats.; and (e) whether marital fault should be considered when determining a maintenance award.
The committee will be composed of 17 members, including two state Senators, three state Representatives, and 12 Public Members.
The committee will be chaired by Rep. Tony Staskunas (D-West Allis), and the vice-chair will be Rep. Amy Sue Vruwink (D-Milladore). The committee will be staffed by members of the non-partisan Wisconsin Legislative Council, including Don Salm, Senior Staff Attorney; Margit Kelley and Chadwick Brown, Staff Attorneys; and Tracey Young, Support Staff.
A full list of the committee members is available online from the Wisconsin Legislative Council at: http://www.legis.state.wi.us/lc/committees/study/2010/AWARD/files/award_list.pdf