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In re Marriage of LaRocque

Supreme Court of Wisconsin
406 N.W.2d 736 (Wis. 1987)


Facts

Daniel LaRocque (plaintiff) filed a petition for divorce from Rosalie LaRocque (defendant) after 13 years of marriage and the birth of five children. Daniel was first a lawyer and then a judge, earning approximately $60,000 annually. Rosalie earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and subsequently worked part-time as a substitute teacher, but primarily was a homemaker and caretaker of the children. The trial court divided the marital property, awarding Rosalie the marital home, furniture, appliances, a vehicle, and other property. However, Rosalie was financially responsible for all of the accompanying household repairs and costs associated with the sale of the home. Additionally, the court awarded Rosalie limited-term spousal support of $1,500 per month for five months and then $1,000 per month for 13 months, for a total of 18 months. The trial court reasoned that Rosalie could obtain employment as a school teacher upon receiving a certification within the 18-month period, with an initial salary of $12,000. Rosalie appealed, arguing that the amount and duration of support were insufficient. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment as to the amount of spousal support, but reversed as to the duration. The Supreme Court of Wisconsin granted certiorari to review.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Abrahamson, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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