Filing for divorce in Wisconsin is not an unusual court proceeding. The State of Wisconsin gives individuals options to dissolve their marriage if there isn’t a chance for reconciliation or the vows are irretrievably broken. However, to ensure that couples understand that a divorce in Wisconsin is the end to a marriage, there are specific guidelines and regulations put in place that must be followed.
Ending a Marriage in Wisconsin
Wisconsin is considered a “no-fault” community property state when it comes to divorce proceedings. What this means is that neither party has to prove that the other party committed wrongful acts to petition for a divorce in Wisconsin. As a community property state, all marital property is divided between both parties 50/50. The exception is when either spouse inherits or given separate property as a gift.
There are guidelines that would need to be followed when determining what is and what’s not community property. Some of the factors that may affect the community property determination include the following:
Length of marriage
Property brought into the marriage
While it is not necessary to hire a lawyer for a divorce in Wisconsin, it is recommended to speak with an attorney to go over any questions that you may have. You can obtain a free consultation from most divorce attorneys and make a decision from there if you rather continue with legal representation or represent yourself.
Annulment, Legal Separation, Divorce in Wisconsin
There are 3 ways that a marriage with issues can be resolved in the state of Wisconsin. The options are annulment, legal separation, and divorce.
Annulment- This is where the marriage never existed. If you choose to file an annulment there are certain qualifications that need to be met before an annulment is granted. Filing an annulment is something that requires assistance from an attorney and the forms found through the self-help law center is not designed for annulments.
Legal separation- This is not an option that will end a marriage. It can be converted to a divorce and the divorce guidelines must be followed when requesting a legal separation. Be prepared to explain to the court why a legal separation is chosen and not a divorce.
Divorce- This is an end to a marriage in the state of Wisconsin. A divorce has a waiting period of 120 days before a divorce is finalized.
For more information regarding a divorce or legal separation, you can go to the website and view the guidelines.
Questions About a Divorce in Wisconsin
Questions that you have regarding a Wisconsin divorce can be answered through the online self-help law center provided by the Wisconsin Court System. The link for the law center can be accessed through the e-courts link found on the WCCA website. You will find guides, forms, and instructions on how to complete each form and what is needed. You can use the forms assistance link to get assistance with completing any forms found online.
As previously mentioned, you can speak with a licensed attorney to help answer questions that you have regarding divorce proceedings or filling out the forms. An attorney can guide you in the best direction based on the specific details of your situation.