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How To File For Divorce In Wi

Does Wisconsin Recognize Common

How to File For Divorce in Wisconsin

Following the passage of a law in 1917, common law marriages created in Wisconsin are no longer recognized by the state. However, even though Wisconsin does not Recognize Common-Law Marriage, there are systems that guarantee the rights of individuals in this relationship. Because couples in a common-law marriage do not have the same rights as formally married individuals, conversations on the allocation of obligations and assets must occur at the beginning of the relationship. These topics can be defined and assigned in a cohabitation agreement form.

Gather Important Financial Information

There are many complicated issues in divorce that you will need to be prepared for. Getting organized early on and having the documents you need at your fingertips will make the entire process a little bit less daunting.

It will also save you time and money, while helping to expedite the divorce process.

For a better understanding of what documents youll need, weve put together this Divorce Information Checklist. Its a great resource as you begin the task of pulling together your financial documentation.

Three Ways Of Filing For Divorce

There are a number of paths you can take when you file for a Wisconsin divorce:

  • You can follow the traditional route and get an attorney to represent you from the start. That way, the lawyer will take care of the divorce forms, the filing process, and all of the other legal matters in your case.
  • You can file for divorce online by using a service that will provide you with the completed forms and basically walk you through the process.
  • Or you can opt for the do-it-yourself route by handling the divorce on your own.

The path you decide to take will depend on your situation, including the level of cooperation with your spouse and the amount of time and money you have. Using an online divorce service will help with the paperwork , but these services normally require that you and your spouse have already agreed about all of the issues in your divorce .

A “pure” DIY divorce will be the cheapest option, but you’ll have to spend the time to be sure you understand and follow all of Wisconsin’s legal requirements for divorce. If you think you can go that route, here’s a basic outline of the filing process and requirements in Wisconsin.

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Using A Wisconsin Divorce Attorney

A typical Wisconsin Attorney will charge between $3,000 – $10,000 to handle your Wisconsin Divorce.

Divorce Attorney’s handle all aspects of your divorce, from alimony or family support, child custody, visitation or placement, division of assets and retirement accounts.

There are more affordable Divorce options available to you.

How Is A Divorce In Wisconsin Granted

Wisconsin Divorce Papers Forms

The divorce is granted at a hearing. The parties either reach an agreement or the court will decide the contested issues and then grant the divorce. The judge will sign a written judgment after the divorce is granted orally.

This judgment incorporates the parties agreement and any orders issued by the judge. If one party does not appear at the hearing, the court may proceed without that party after making findings that the party had appropriate notice of the hearing.

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How To File For Divorce In Wisconsinthe Necessary Paperwork

Every step of the divorce proceedings in Wisconsin requires preparing and filing a specific set of papers. Your choice of divorce forms depends on whether you:

  • Are filing for a divorce jointly or separately
  • Want to schedule a temporary hearing
  • Bear in mind that some counties in Wisconsin may require different documentation from the person filing for a divorce and the person responding.

    If you decide to proceed with the do-it-yourself divorce in Wisconsin , your first step is to fill out and file documents that correspond to your situation.

    What Are The Basic Steps For Filing For Divorce

    While divorce laws vary by state, here are the basic steps:

    • First, you must meet the residency requirements of the state in which you wish to file.

    • Second, you must have grounds to end your marriage.

    • Third, you must file divorce papers and have copies sent to your spouse.

    • Fourth, if your spouse disagrees with anything in the divorce papers, s/he will then have the opportunity to file papers telling his side. This is called contesting the divorce. In this case, you will have to attend a series of court appearances to sort the issues out. If your spouse does agrees with everything in the petition, s/he should sign the papers and send them back to you and/or the court. This is called an uncontested divorce. If a certain period of time passes and your spouse does not sign the papers or file any papers of his/her own, you may be able to proceed with the divorce as an uncontested divorce anyway. You should speak to a lawyer in your state about how long you have to wait to see if your spouse answers the divorce papers before you can continue with the divorce.

    • Fifth, if there is property that you need divided, or if you need financial support from your spouse, you will have to work that out in an out-of-court settlement, or in a series of court hearings. Custody may also be decided as part of your divorce.

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    Is It Better To File For Divorce Or Be Served

    Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state, which means that there is no legal advantage to being the first person to file for the divorce. Each party will have an equal claim to child custody and placement and asset division. The only stipulation to filing for divorce is that the marriage is irretrievably broken, with no hope for reconciliation. If only one spouse is filing for divorce, that would be considered by the courts to be a marriage that is irretrievably broken.

    What Are The Grounds For Divorce In Wisconsin

    How to File Wisconsin Divorce Forms Online

    Wisconsin is a no-fault state. This means that you dont have to give the court any specific reason for wanting a divorce. If theres no chance that you and your spouse will reconcile, you can state that your marriage is irretrievably broken, which is sufficient grounds for divorce in Wisconsin. This can even occur if only one party wants the divorce.

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    Requests To Access Or Delete Household Information

    We will not comply with a request to know specific pieces of information or a request to delete household personal information unless the request is made by the account holder or all consumers of the household jointly request access to specific pieces of information or deletion, we can individually verify all members of the household and we can verify each is currently a member of the household. If a member of a household is a minor under 13, we must obtain verifiable consent before complying with a request for specific pieces of information for the household or deletion of household personal information.

    Determine If Youre Filing Jointly Or Separately

    How do I figure out if I should file jointly or separately?

    In most cases, this is a matter of personal preference and is based upon the kind of relationship you have or would like to maintain with your spouse. If the decision to divorce is a joint decision or if you believe you will be able to easily cooperate to reach a final agreement on all the issues, you may both agree it is best to file together. But if one party does not want the divorce or if it is important to them for religious or personal reasons not to join in the filing, you may have to file alone. You can only file jointly if both parties agree.

    Why does this matter?

    It doesnt matter to the court, but it may matter to you or your spouse. Because divorce filings are public records, sometimes a person may not want to be listed as the Petitioner . On the other hand, some people may specifically want the court record to reflect that they filed together. However, filing as a sole Petitioner or a joint Petitioner confers no legal advantage.

    What does filing jointly and filing separately mean?

    Filing jointly means that you and your spouse are both requesting a divorce from each other. Filing separately means the filing party is requesting a divorce against the non-filing party.

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    Filing Your Wisconsin Divorce Papers

    In Wisconsin, you may file your divorce papers in person or electronically.

    • If you’re filing in person, bring the original and two copies of the forms to the court clerk in the circuit court where you’re starting the divorce. The court clerk will assign your case a number and will give you stamped copies of the paperwork.
    • You may also use the Wisconsin court’s electronic filing system. If you do this, you’ll need to sign a printed copy of the petition in front of a notary, then scan the document and file the scanned version.

    You’ll generally have to pay a fee to file your forms. As of 2021, the basic circuit court filing fee for the initial divorce papers is $184.50, plus an additional $10 if you’re requesting any support or maintenance payments. There’s also a $20 fee for e-filing. If you can’t afford the fee, you may file a Petition for Waiver of Fees and Costs . A judge will review the information you provide to decide whether to qualify for the waiver.

    With a joint petition, you and your spouse may split the filing fees.

    What Else Should I Know About Divorce In Wisconsin

    Divorce Certificate Application Form

    Alimony, or spousal support, is not required in the state of Wisconsin. The amount of support that may be ordered can vary widely, based on each specific case and the associated facts. Generally speaking, spousal support is only awarded in Wisconsin when the couple has been married to each other for a minimum of ten years.

    In terms of child custody and child support, Wisconsin law states that when a childs parents are not married to each other, the childs mother is automatically awarded sole custody of the child unless or until the court orders otherwise.

    Child support amounts in Wisconsin are determined according to a child support calculator. As of 2021, an example of this would be:

    • 17% of gross income for one child
    • 25% of gross income for two children
    • 29% of gross income for three children
    • 31% of gross income for four children and
    • 34% of gross income for five or more children.

    The paying parent generally must continue child support payments until the child has reached 18 years of age.

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    Can I File For Divorce In Wisconsin Without Using A Lawyer

    As long as the divorce is uncontested and you can agree with your spouse on all parts of the settlement agreement you could be able to complete the entire process without using a lawyer.

    You can file for divorce in Wisconsin by going to the courthouse in the county where you or your spouse live and file a summons, petition and confidential addendum. If you have children, you will need to file additional forms as well.

    You will need to pay a filing fee and then the clerk of the court will assign a case number to you.

    What You Need To Know Before You File For Divorce

    Filing for divorce has likely been a very stressful decision that has not come easy. Once you have made the decision to divorce, actually preparing the paperwork and initiating the court action can be equally difficult and stressful. Here, we will try to make the process less intimidating. Whether you choose to represent yourself or to hire a lawyer, there are a few things you should know before you file for divorce.

    Read more below

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    Do Issues Like Child Support Child Custody Alimony And Property Have To Be Decided Before Finalizing A Divorce In Wi

    Wisconsin Divorce Tips: How to fill out your financial disclosure statement

    The divorce is granted when the parties have reached an agreement on all issues or after a hearing and the court decides the contested issues, so all of the issues are resolved at one time.

    In very rare instances, if trials last multiple days over a span of time, the court may grant the divorce following the testimony of both parties although the final order or decision on a complicated contested issue may not be completed yet.

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    What Paperwork Must Be Filed In Order To Obtain A Divorce In Wisconsin

    To reiterate, the divorce process varies from state to state. It is best to consult with an attorney before moving forward in order to ensure you have the correct information and reduce the risk of any issues along the way.

    Generally speaking, the divorce process in Wisconsin is as follows:

  • Determine How You Will File: Couples may file for divorce separately, or jointly. Filing jointly has the advantage of greatly reduced or even eliminated paperwork. Joint filing generally occurs when the divorcing couple is relatively amicable, and there are few or no marital assets and children involved. Filing separately would be the better option for those fearing for their safety, or for those who have children together
  • Determine Whether a Temporary Hearing Will Be Necessary: Temporary hearings are held to make decisions, such as child custody and placement, that will be in place throughout the remainder of the divorce process. Again, temporary hearings may be preferable for those who are divorcing because they are concerned for their safety, or for couples who have especially complex circumstances leading to the need for divorce
  • File a Divorce Action: This action notifies the court of the couples intention, and officially begins the legal divorce process. To file a divorce action in Wisconsin, you must have been a resident of the state for six months, and a resident of your county for thirty days
  • Do I Need An Attorney For Divorce In Wisconsin

    If you live in Wisconsin and are considering filing for divorce, you should consult with an experienced Wisconsin divorce lawyer. Because so much regarding divorce and child support varies from state to state, it is important that you work with a local Wisconsin lawyer in order to receive the most relevant advice.

    An experienced Wisconsin divorce attorney can help you understand Wisconsins process for filing for divorce, and ensure that you are adhering to all applicable laws. Finally, an experienced attorney will also be able to represent you in court, as needed.

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    Child Custody And Placement

    When there are children involved in the divorce, some of the most difficult decisions occur when negotiating child custody and placement with the other parent. While custody refers to the legal, decision-making rights of the parents on behalf of the child, placement refers to where the child physically lives at any given time.

    The court mandates that the child custody agreement is in the best interest of the child, and the placement schedule allows the child to maintain a positive relationships with both parents.

    What Typically Happens If I Go To A Wisconsin Court To Obtain My Divorce Myself

    Printable Online Wisconsin Divorce Papers &  Instructions

    The judges clerk will look to make sure all of the required documents are filed appropriately and see if you have an agreement or if issues are contested.

    Assuming you have an agreement, the judge will likely review it and ask each of the parties questions both about themselves and about whether the terms of the agreement are appropriate. The court will the grant the divorce and give the parties instructions.

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    How To Start The Divorce Process

    A divorce proceeding in Wisconsin begins with the submission of a completed Petition for divorce to a county clerk.

    • You must also provide the following documents

    • Proposed parenting plan

    • Make at least two copies of all submitted documents.

    • You must file the Petition with the Clerks Office of the Superior Court in the county of residence. You must also pay the appropriate fees at the time of filing.

    What Are The Residency Requirements To Get A Divorce In Wisconsin

    To file for divorce in Wisconsin, either you or your spouse must:

    • be a resident of the state of Wisconsin for at least six months and
    • be a resident of the county you file in for at least 30 days before filing.1

    A judge cannot grant a divorce in Wisconsin until it has been 120 days since:

    • you or your spouse received notice of the divorce that one of you filed or
    • you both filed a joint petition together.2

    However, a judge can grant you a divorce before 120 days pass if there are emergency reasons to do so. A judge can grant you a divorce for emergency reasons if:

  • you filed a petition for protection for yourself or your children and:
  • the circuit court commissioner makes a recommendation to the judge for an immediate hearing on your petition for protection and
  • the judge holds an immediate hearing on the petition or
  • the judge decides to grant a divorce for other emergency reasons.2
  • 1 Wis. Stat. § 767.301

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