In Wisconsin, alimony is officially referred to as spousal maintenance, but the concept is the same: payments made from one spouse to the other in order to lessen the financial hardship that can follow divorce.
Mutual agreement or court decision?
Many people assume alimony is always ordered by a court, however, this isn’t always the case. In Wisconsin, either spouse can request spousal maintenance no matter how or why the marriage came to an end.
Many separating couples end up agreeing that spousal maintenance is appropriate as well as the amount and length of the payments involved––all without the court ever getting involved. These agreements can be put into writing through a contract called a marital settlement agreement.
However, if a mutual agreement can’t be reached, it can be left to the court to decide if alimony should be awarded as well as how much and how long the payments will be required.