About divorce law in Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, it is especially important to have the help of a property division lawyer as you go through a divorce. Wisconsin is one of only nine states that is considered a community property state. Because of this unique approach to marital property, you should have the help of an attorney to make sure that you receive the assets to which you are entitled.
Waiting period for divorce in Wisconsin
Divorce in the state of Wisconsin has a mandatory waiting period of 120 days before the court will allow you to finalize the process. You will therefore not likely resolve your divorce for at least 6 months. This 6-month timeline is realistic in cases where there are limited issues between the parties.
Divorce process in Wisconsin
The divorce process starts with a Temporary Order Hearing, wherein the Court will address issues of custody, placement, child support, maintenance, property division, and debt payments. This initial hearing is handled by the Family Court Commissioner and the orders made by the Court are temporary. This hearing is to set rules for the parties to follow while they are awaiting their final trial or stipulated divorce hearing.
After the Temporary Order Hearing, most counties have a pre-trial where the Court seeks to determine what the issues are and set a timeline for settlement or trial. These processes change based upon the county in which the divorce is filed. Your divorce attorney will guide you regarding the specific procedures for your particular county.
The parties may settle out of court. To do so they must create a Marital Settlement Agreement or Divorce Contract. Both parties generally must appear at the final divorce hearing — even if there is a stipulated agreement — to testify to the Court regarding agreements made.
If the parties cannot come to agreed-upon terms, they must attend a Contested Divorce Hearing or Divorce Trial. A divorce trial can be costly and emotionally damaging to both parties. Your attorney will do their best to negotiate appropriate terms prior to trial, but if they are unable to do so they will resolutely represent you at trial.
Business and high asset divorce
When you have a high net worth, or when you or your spouse own a business, you face a more complex divorce than usual. There are many other things that must be taken into account, such as business valuations and tax consequences of a divorce.
Our dedicated legal team works closely with experts in the business community (i.e. accountants, financial analysts, appraisers, etc.) to help you get through all the intricate procedures surrounding a high asset divorce.
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