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Taake v. Taake

70 Wis. 2d 115, 233 N.W.2d 449 (1975)

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Taake v. Taake

Wisconsin Supreme Court

70 Wis. 2d 115, 233 N.W.2d 449 (1975)

Facts

E. Robert Taake (plaintiff) obtained a divorce from Barbara Taake (defendant) on the ground of cruel and inhumane treatment. Barbara was awarded monthly alimony of $200. Later, Barbara met Lyle Fink. Barbara and Fink lived together in Barbara’s apartment for a few weeks before they moved into a home newly purchased by Fink. Barbara and Fink apparently agreed that she would pay him $25 per month in rent, pay for some of the groceries, and perform some housework. Although Barbara had a separate bedroom, she and Fink occasionally engaged in sexual relations. Barbara also allowed others to acknowledge her as Mrs. Fink without correcting them, although she took no steps to formally identify herself as Fink’s wife. Robert stopped making alimony payments and petitioned the court to terminate the obligation. At this point, both Barbara and Fink were unemployed. The court found that Barbara and Fink had entered a de facto marriage. The ensuing judgment expunged Robert’s alimony arrearages, terminated the alimony award, and barred Barbara from future alimony from Robert. Barbara appealed. The Wisconsin Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Beilfuss, J.)

Dissent (Heffernan, J.)

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