WHAT ARE THE GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE: What will it take to get your divorce? Because Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state, the court is not interested in why a party is seeking a divorce. In order for the court to grant a divorce, the court must be convinced that the marriage is irretrievably broken. This is usually accomplished by the testimony of both spouses. Each spouse will be asked if the marriage is irretrievably broken, or in other words: is there any reasonable prospect that the married couple can reconcile their differences?
HOW DOES THE DIVORCE GET STARTED? An action will need to be filed. This can be done with a Joint Petition, or with one spouse filing a summons and petition. A good family law attorney should work with the client to determine what is the best pleading for the client. At Your Family Law Center, we will discuss all the options with a client to determine what pleading works best. For example, a joint petition or a summons and petition, with a request to admit service is typically used for our clients that hope to have an amicable divorce, but a summons and petition is more likely to be used, with a process of service, in cases with violence.
HOW LONG WILL MY DIVORCE TAKE? The statute requires a 120 day waiting period after the divorce is filed/served. A final hearing can be sought after the expiration of that time frame. However, most contested divorces will take much longer.
HOW WILL THE DIVORCE AFFECT MY CHILDREN? The orders in your family case will address custody, placement, and support of your minor children. Custody refers to who will make the major decisions regarding your children, placement refers to where they children will reside and support refers to child support. Custody and Placement will be decided based on the best interest of the children and support will be calculated based on child support guidelines, with some cases being appropriate for deviations from those guidelines. As each of these issues is very complex, we have created a separate topic page for each issue. Please refer to those tabs for more details.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO OUR ASSETS AND DEBTS? The court will enter orders (temporary and/or final orders) regarding the marital estate, including but not limited to real estate, retirement accounts, bank accounts, vehicles, jewelry, business interests, and possible claims for maintenance. The statute and case law assumes that the total marital estate will be divided 50/50. A good family attorney will explain the tax consequences of particular distributions of the marital estate, which can have a significant impact on the overall distribution. At Your Family Law Center, we will create spreadsheets to demonstrate the total value of the estate, including tax consequences. Our spreadsheets are provided to our clients to demonstrate the possible final divisions and to allow clients to consider all the possible means to get to that final order.
DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY? Other than placement, custody, and support, the terms of the final judgment of divorce are intended to be final. As such you should consider hiring an experienced family law attorney, such as those at Your Family Law Center, SC to assist you in your divorce action.