Wisconsin is a community property state in which property acquired by both spouses during the marriage must be divided equally. Separate property which belongs wholly to one spouse may have been acquired in the following ways:. Once the community property and debts are identified, they must be assigned a monetary value, usually via an appraiser.
Division of property may occur in several ways. Indivisible assets may be provided to one spouse, while another asset of equivalent value is assigned to the other spouse.
In some cases, a share of the property may be given to one party while providing the asset to the other, in essence, making both spouses co-owners. Debts are also distributed in a similar manner to each spouse.
While the judge may assign a debt to one party, the other spouse may still be responsible for a portion of repayment. As in most states, Wisconsin determines child custody based on the best interests of the child, and, as such, usually awards joint custody to both spouses. Joint custody in Wisconsin grants both parents equal rights in making decisions regarding the child.
If one parent is deemed unfit, the court may assign one parent sole custody of a child. In this situation, the sole legal custodian possesses full authority to make decisions regarding the child. In some rare instances in which spouses have trouble communicating, possess incompatible parenting styles or reside a long distance apart, Wisconsin courts may confer joint custody but grant authority over major decisions regarding health, welfare and education of the child to one parent. Spousal support is more commonly known as maintenance in Wisconsin and is dependent upon several factors:.
Maintenance in Wisconsin will usually have a start and termination date, although in cases of an extremely lengthy marriages of if one spouse is unable to work, maintenance may go on indefinitely. The spouse who is awarded maintenance may petition the court for an extension only before maintenance is terminated. If a trial is scheduled, then you and your spouse must attend the trial to resolve any ongoing disputes. Following these courtroom proceedings, the judge will issue a judgment once all information has been overlooked. If you and your spouse agreed on all the major issues and the divorce is uncontested, this process will be much easier as the judge verifies that both parties agree on everything.
It is easier to predict the cost of a divorce if the case is as simple as possible.
Wisconsin has a rather long waiting period - days. So, no dissolution of the marriage can be finalized in a shorter time. Notice that the Respondent the non-filing spouse must be served with the documents within 90 days after your filing. You may deliver the paperwork in one of these ways:. Here are some basic forms you should file for your uncontested divorce in the state of Wisconsin:. This form is need if you file on your own and serve your spouse with the Petition. This form notifies your partner about the proceeding. Provides confidential information concerning social security numbers refers to Sole Petition.
In Wisconsin, you have to file for divorce in a circuit court of you relevant area, but you still can prepare your dissolution forms online. You can observe all needed forms and read some instructions on the Wisconsin Court System website. As well, you can ask for our help. Our service offers a convenient work format. After you fill out the forms we can review them, and our specialists are always in touch to provide you qualified online-support. The sharing of parenting time is claimed as important for a child.
Other Civil Court Services Amortization of Debt Chapter For step-by-step instructions on how to file, general information and help finding a lawyer, visit the Milwaukee Justice Center. How can I reopen my civil traffic or forfeiture case? Board of Supervisors. In brief, the process includes the following steps:. I have a warrant, what should I do? Where do I get forms to file a small claims action? As in most states, Wisconsin determines child custody based on the best interests of the child, and, as such, usually awards joint custody to both spouses.
Placement order can be different under the different circumstances of the certain couple, but usually, it is aimed to maximize periods of time spending with each parent. The sole custody can be given if it is established by the court that joint custody does not meet the interests of the child, or both spouses agree to sole custody.
As for child support, it is a responsibility of both spouses in Wisconsin.
Each parent has to contribute to child support according to their financial opportunities. Usually, the parent who has a smaller part of physical custody must make a payment or pay more. But it is implied that the custodial parent already contributes to the everyday care of the child, so the amount of payment is calculated according to this assumption. Spousal support, also called spousal maintenance or alimony, is the pay from the one former spouse to the other, who is more financially dependent after the divorce.
Each spouse can request for the spousal support depending on how the marriage ended. In Wisconsin, there is no special guidelines to calculate an amount and duration of these payments, and it is not even necessary to involve the court to handle with alimony. A lot of Wisconsin couples regulate this issues by themselves, placing the terms of the spousal support into their Settlement agreement, which must be submitted to the court. If the couple wants the court order to appoint and approve a spousal support, they should notice, that the court consider numerous factors that can affect the decision.
If there are children involved the court can order a Family support, that combines both Children and Spousal support.
Moreover, Wisconsin courts usually treat all the property not only acquired during the married life as a community property, unless the person can prove otherwise. You should be ready to present some evidence for keep your initial sole property. An equal division is referred to the debt too, as debt is a part of marital community property. It may seem very unfair.
Mediation is an optional process to help the spouses to resolve important issues relating to their divorce and to make their Settlement agreement if there is an uncontested case. During the mediation session, the spouses negotiate with the assistance of a neutral third party - the mediator, who often is an attorney by profession or a former judge and is well aware of the divorce proceedings nuances.
It is often easier to reach an agreement under the qualified guidance. Also, mediation tries to provide a calm and respectful atmosphere for your discus. Wisconsin is almost the only state where it is allowed to spouses to attend mediation with their attorneys if any.
View all reviews. In order to tell the court that you cannot locate your spouse, you should make a thorough search first. After you present evidence of your attempts to find and serve the former spouse you can request a divorce by publication. You must file a Publication Summons and a Publication Affidavit of Mailing, then you should notify your spouse about divorce proceeding with the publication in a local newspaper. The divorce can be granted without any participation of the missing partner. Default judgment implies the dismissing of action in a case when the Respondent fails to appear at the court, refuses to answer the divorce Petition or just cannot be located as in the block above.
Typically, the default divorce assumes that the Respondent has not any requests for the court, so the divorce is granted on the terms of the Petitioner. An annulment declares the marriage initially erroneous and illegal according to the state law. In other words, while a divorce terminates a legal marriage, an annulment terminate an invalid marriage, and you can consider that your marriage has never existed.
Nevertheless, an annulment action allows the court to order the same thing as in the case of divorce in Wisconsin. So if there are children from the annulled marriage, they are still considered as legitimate, and their parents can resolve all the support and custody issues in the court. The spousal support and property division also can be arranged. The court cannot help you with discovery. The Legal Resource Center may have more information about the various types of discovery.
Civil trials are formal events. If you do not have an attorney, you must act as your own attorney. The judge cannot assist you, because he or she must remain neutral.
You must prove your case to the judge or jury by submitting evidence and by having witnesses testify for you.