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Wisconsin Divorce Laws

Divorce in Wisconsin is governed by Ch. 767 of the Wisconsin Statutes.

Click HERE for Child-Support Payment and Child-Custody/Removal Statutory Information.

You or your spouse must be a Wisconsin resident for at least six (6) months before you may get divorced. You and your spouse should be the resident of the county in which you will be filing a case, for a period of at least thirty (30) days.

Divorce laws of Wisconsin require the expiration of 120 days after the date of filing before a divorce can be granted - there is no way around this (believe me, I've tried!).

Wisconsin's divorce laws allow us to settle marital property distribution issues through a Marital Settlement Agreement ("MSA”). The attorneys draft it and you and your spouse can settle by signing such an agreement. In case both of you are unable to reach an agreement; the court will distribute your property. The decision is based on a number of variables, like segregation of marital property from individual property and according a value to your marital or community property in keeping with the current property prices. A court's division of marital property is not necessarily "equal."

Both you and your spouse can take up your former ("maiden") names after the finalization of the divorce.

Both parties must attend a parenting class before divorce is granted, if any children were born of the marriage (click HERE to download a .pdf copy of the most current informational brochures from the Milwaukee County Circuit Court about parent-education class sign-up and availability - these brochures give a good idea of what these programs are like in every county (depending on your Internet connection speed, it may take a little while to download)). Our divorce laws require both parties to go for mandatory mediation if child placement/custody cannot be agreed on. Our laws may also dictate mediation in favor of joint custodial arrangements or parental support programs. There is a rebuttable presumption in this state that any child born during the marriage is the offspring of the husband. The husband will be liable for child support unless he can show that he is not, in fact, the child's biological father. If the wife is pregnant at the time of filing or becomes pregnant after filing, the divorce case will be suspended until the child is born or the pregnancy otherwise ends. Simple DNA mouth swabs are usually taken from the husband and the baby after the baby is born and the results are generally treated as conclusive for purposes of determining whether the husband is the biological father. If DNA test results indicate that the husband is likely not the biological father, the divorce continues and it is the mother's duty to name the men who might be the true father (usually, the state child-support enforcement people will try to file a paternity case naming the mother and any men with whom she had sexual intercourse during the conceptive period as respondents).

Permanent or temporary spousal maintenance (alimony) is usually granted during the case proceedings under Wisconsin divorce laws. You and your spouse (or one of you) can also be awarded maintenance for a particular or unspecified time period by Wisconsin courts.

All divorce courts under Wisconsin divorce laws take into account the following aspects when deciding child custody issues:

* The wishes of you and your spouse, or both of you and your child.
* The child's preference, either communicated by him/herself or vocalized by the guardian.
* The interrelationship of your child with you, your spouse, his/her sibling(s) or any other person.

Child support decisions take into consideration merit, burden, financial situation and other relevant variables of both parents.

 

P.O. Box 579, Milwaukee, WI 53201 414-224-0668 Wisconsin State Bar # 1020925 -- New York Atty Reg. # 4308573