Wanezek, Jaekels, Daul & Babcock, S.C. Attorneys at Law — Founded 1908

Divorce in Wisconsin

If you or a loved one is faced with a divorce, it is important to know your legal options.  Divorces can be very emotional and complicated and a lawyer can help you navigate through this process.

Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state.  In other words, the reason for your divorce is largely irrelevant in the Court's eyes.  A court will not penalize you in your divorce because you may have been at fault for the dissolution of the marriage. 

In order to commence your divorce, you need to file a summons and petition for divorce with the Clerk of Court's office in the county where either you or your spouse reside.  After you file the necessary divorce documents with the Clerk of Court's office, you are required to serve the documents upon your spouse.  From the date of filing there is a 120 day minimum waiting period before the Court will grant you with a divorce from your spouse.  Only one spouse is required to state that the marriage is irretrievably broken in order for the Court to grant a divorce.  During the pendency of the divorce proceedings, either spouse can request a temporary order on all issues relating to the divorce including child custody, placement, child support, maintenance, payment of debts, and possession of property. 

At your final hearing in your divorce, the judge will make orders relating to child custody, placement, child support, maintenance, property division, and other relevant matters in your divorce proceeding.  The judge makes orders regarding child custody and placement as it relates to the best interest of the child.  In the event the parties are unable to agree what is in the child's best interest, the court will appoint a Guardian ad litem who will represent the child's best interest and make recommendations to the Court regarding custody and placement of the child.  Generally, child support is calculated based upon placement of the child and the incomes of one or both spouses.  Maintenance is support to one spouse and is awarded in the discretion of the court based upon a number of factors including the length of marriage and earning capacity of each spouse.  Finally, usually the Court will divide property equally between the spouses with the exception of property acquired by either spouse by gift or inheritance. 

This is a general and broad outline of divorces in Wisconsin.  If you would like more information about divorces in Wisconsin, please contact Greg Babcock at our office for your no-cost initial consultation.