Wisconsin recognizes a difference between a divorce and legal separation. Where a divorce is the final end of a marriage, a legal separation is not final. A legal separation, like a divorce, will allow a court to rule on issues such as:
A couple may choose to become legally separated where they believe that the marriage might be saved or where the parties are working towards a divorce. Often a legal separation will be used when a couple’s religious beliefs prohibit divorce.
There are many steps to the divorce process in Wisconsin and each step will have its own paperwork requirements.
After each side has presented their case to the judge a final ruling will be made and the divorce will be final. The court will issue a final order that will layout the rights and obligations of each party.
Wisconsin is one of the few states that is considered a “community property” state (the others are: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, and Washington). This means that all property (cash, investments, real estate, etc.) that is brought into the marriage is split 50/50 between the separating parties. You should be aware that creditors of your former spouse might be able to reach all or part of the community property to satisfy debts incurred by either spouse.
There are exceptions to the community property 50/50 default rule and it is important to have an experienced divorce lawyer involved to ensure that your assets are properly protected.
The involvement of children will almost always complicate a divorce. Often the process is smoother if the parents can agree as to how to handle any issues of child custody and child support. But a judge must still decide if the agreement is fair or possible by examining it for the best interest of the child.
But if the parents cannot agree on issues of custody or support, then they should be prepared to submit to any requirements of the court. This can include a parenting plan and/or mediation by a neutral third-party.
You may need to pay alimony to your former spouse. Alimony payments are made to former spouses to ensure that he or she does not become dependent on the state and is allowed to live in a manner that he or she has become accustomed to. For example, alimony payments may be required to help a former spouse to obtain a degree and become gainfully employed.
If you are thinking of filing for divorce or have been served with divorce papers, then contact an experienced Wisconsin family lawyer today to discuss your rights and options under Wisconsin divorce law.
Last Modified: 04-18-2017 03:20 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.