In the state of Wisconsin, a stipulated divorce hearing is generally a better outcome for all parties in involved. Similar to an “uncontested divorce” in other states, it involves both involved parties writing up and signing a divorce stipulation on their own. Although easier than divorces with contested issues, there are requirements both divorcing spouses much keep in mind.
Both parties are required to attend the stipulated divorce hearing unless one party is no long a resident (and can provide suitable evidence), in the case of service by publication, or if other circumstances prevent the spouse from attended, such as serious illness or injury.
The moving party must serve the nonmoving party before the final hearing if an order for appearance is required, and all residence requirements must also be present, including the 120 day waiting period. In some cases, this period can be waived by court order, but this will be on a case by case basis.
If proper notice is given, the court will determine whether grounds for divorce exist and whether all forms have been submitted by both parties. In most cases, divorce can proceed if both spouses agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken, and both parties must have lived apart for at least one year. If these criteria are not met, the court may consider additional evidence to determine whether a possible reconciliation may occur. If the court feels as if reconciliation is a possibility, the proceedings may be extended 30-60 days. It may also be suggested that parties receive martial counseling. When the hearing reconvenes, the court will again determine whether the marriage is irretrievably broken.
The divorce proceedings will continue if the court finds that the parties have no reasonable chance of reconciliation, assuming all financial documents are in order. This would include health insurance information if children are involved, as well as any other financial issues regarding dependents.
Family Law Attorney