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Wisconsin Divorce Laws

As with marriage laws and procedures, states may regulate the manner in which married couples may get divorced. In Wisconsin, divorce laws include residency for at least 90 days, but there is no waiting period before your divorce is final. Wisconsin also recognizes "no fault" divorce, on the grounds of "irretrievable breakdown." This is similar in nature to the phrase "irreconcilable differences" used in other states.

Wisconsin is one of the U.S. states labeled as a community property state. (The others are Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington.) This means that all marital property is typically defined as community property or separate property. When divorcing, community property is typically divided evenly, and separate property is kept by its owner.This includes all property accumulated during marriage, including debts, unless the property or debt is designated otherwise (e.g., a loan made out specifically to one person based on their separate property).

Wisconsin Divorce Laws

States tend to handle divorce differently. The main provisions of Wisconsin's legal divorce laws are listed in the table below.

Code Section 767.001, et seq.
Residency Requirements Either party bona fide resident at least 6 months. 767.05 (1m)
Waiting Period Judgment effective immediately, except parties cannot remarry for 6 months. 767.37(2). No trial until 120 days after service of summons or filing of joint petition (court can order immediate hearing for health and safety of party or child). 767.083
'No Fault' Grounds for Divorce Irretrievable breakdown. 767.07 (2)(a)
Defenses to a Divorce Filing If both parties do not agree the marriage is irretrievably broken and have not lived apart for 12 months, court may suggest counseling and set for rehearing in 30-60 days. §767.12
Other Grounds for Divorce -

No Fault Divorce Laws

As we stated above, Wisconsin is one of many states that offers what is known as a “no fault” divorce. No fault divorce means that you do not have to prove that your spouse did anything wrong. Instead, you just have to give any reason that the state honors for the divorce. In Wisconsin, the reason is that the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” which is a legal phrase for you and your spouse do not get along and your marital relationship cannot be repaired. Wisconsin also has alternatives to the standard divorce, such as an annulment or legal separation.

If you have a family, you should be aware of Wisconsin child custody laws, as well as Wisconsin laws pertaining to child support guidelines and child support enforcement.

If you have a family, you should be aware of Illinois child custody laws, as well as Illinois laws pertaining to child support guidelines and child support enforcement. If you’d like to do more research on your own, you can find more introductory information in FindLaw’s divorce section.

Get Legal Help with Your Divorce in Wisconsin

Going through a divorce can be an emotionally and legally difficult process. But, you might find that consulting with an attorney can ease the strain of dealing with both the divorce paperwork and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. If you're thinking about getting a divorce, or are already in the process, you may want to contact a skilled divorce lawyer in Wisconsin who can answer any questions you may have about the state's divorce laws and guide you through the divorce process.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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  • Divorces are tough and a lawyer can seek the best outcome
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