– from Earl I. in Farmington, WI

Question Details:

My wife fled the state of Wisconsin after she found out I wanted a divorce. I still would like to file the divorce but I know Wisconsin does not have jurisdiction when she is not in the state. I found out she is now a resident of Michigan. We have two children together and both want to see their mother. Is it possible to still go through with the divorce?

Family Law Attorney Response:

You are right when you say you need your wife back in the state to file a divorce, however you cannot force your wife to come back to the state in order to start the divorce. However, if your wife decides she wants to continue to see your children, then the divorce could happen and you would want to talk about the divorce with her.

Click here to learn about changing your name after divorce.

In McCarthy v. McCarthy, 146 Wis.2d 510, 431 N.W.2d 706 (Ct. App. 1988), it was discussed that Wisconsin courts may exercise jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant if the defendant is engaged in substantial and not isolated activities’ within Wisconsin. The court’s inquiry into the nature of the defendant’s activities must be made in light of due process.

If your wife comes to Wisconsin on a regular basis to see your children, give me a call so we can set up the divorce process.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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