Are you ready to file for divorce? In Wisconsin, it is required that you file for divorce in the county where you live. Additionally, if you are filing for divorce, it is required that you have been a resident of the state for at least six months before the filing. You must also be a resident of the county where your divorce is being filed for a minimum of 30 days before the divorce filing is made.
You must file the divorce Summons and Petition for divorce in the country where you live.
Getting the Proper Forms for Filing for Divorce in Wisconsin
When you are ready to file for divorce, you must acquire and file the proper forms. You can access the forms you need, free of charge, from the Wisconsin Court System.
Doing this means that you can receive forms that are properly formatted and that meet the statutory requirements. You must fill in the blanks, which can be done electronically, or by printing the forms.
While you can download these forms for free, you may be required to pay a fee when you submit them to the court.
Some of the forms needed when filing for divorce include the following:
- Joint Petition with Minor Children
- Financial Disclosure Statement
- Proposed Parenting Plan
- Confidential Petition Addendum
- Order to Show Cause with Minor Children
- Affidavit in Support of Request for Temporary Orders with Minor Children
- Order to Appear
- Summons without Minor Children
- Petition without Minor Children
- Order to Show Cause Without Minor Children
All these forms can be found by clicking the link above.
Your Options When Filing for Divorce in Wisconsin
You have several options when filing for a divorce in Wisconsin. These options include the following:
- Follow the traditional route and have an attorney represent you from the beginning. Doing this will allow your attorney to handle all the divorce forms, filing the necessary forms, and any other legal matters in the case or situation.
- It is possible to file for divorce online, but not recommended since you may make mistakes. Having an attorney is the best option.
- You can handle the divorce yourself without legal representation, which is not recommended in most cases.
The option you choose will depend on your specific situation. It includes how cooperative your spouse is and how much money and time you have. While filing for divorce yourself may be the cheapest option initially, it can cost you more in the long run.
Having an attorney will ensure that your interests are protected and that you get the best possible outcome for your case.
What to Know Before Filing for Divorce in Wisconsin
Before you file the divorce papers, knowing the requirements for divorce in Wisconsin is important. As mentioned above, you must meet the residency requirements. If your divorce involves alimony (maintenance), child support, or child custody, it is required that you meet the requirements in the court’s jurisdiction. This means the judge’s authority to issue orders on these concerns.
Some of the requirements that you must meet include the following:
- A child impacted by a custody order or a parenting plan must have lived in the state with their parent for a minimum of six months before the parent filed for divorce (since birth if the child is under six months old). While there are some exceptions to this, they are challenging to prove.
- Complicated rules exist regarding if the divorce judgment requires nonresidents to make support payments. When you file the divorce paperwork and request support payments, it is best to discuss your situation with an attorney if your spouse does not reside in Wisconsin.
Uncontested or Contested Divorce
It is easier to file for divorce if it is uncontested. To have this type of divorce, you must meet certain requirements, which include the following:
- You and your spouse must declare that your marriage is “irretrievably broken” in the divorce papers. This is the state’s only legally accepted reason (grounds) for divorce. This means that there is no reasonable possibility that you will work out your differences.
- You need a marital settlement agreement, called a stipulation in the state, that covers all the legal issues related to the end of your marriage. This includes property division, division of debts, alimony, and if minor children are involved, parenting rights, child custody, and child support.
If you want to have an uncontested divorce but find that you and your spouse can’t agree on some issues, you should consider divorce mediation. It can help you work through the obstacles you are facing.
Usually, mediators will create a written document that reflects the agreements you have reached during this process. Some mediation services can also assist with filing your paperwork.
Serving Your Spouse the Divorce Forms
If your spouse cooperates with the divorce, they can sign the Admission of Service. This is the form that your spouse will sign acknowledging and accepting the divorce forms. It doesn’t necessarily mean they agree with the divorce or the papers, just that they receive them.
For situations where your spouse won’t cooperate, they will be served the papers by a private process server or a Sheriff’s Deputy.
You do not have to worry about serving papers to your spouse if you filed a joint petition. This is because you started the process together. If you filed the papers on your own, you must serve the papers to your spouse.
Understanding the Wisconsin Divorce Process
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when it comes to filing for divorce in Wisconsin. Hiring an attorney can simplify this process and ensure things go smoothly. The right attorney will help ensure that you get the outcome desired for your case. Contact our team at Vanden Heuvel & Dineen S.C. for help today.