What is the Process for Divorce in Wisconsin
Your divorce will start when you serve the divorce papers. Learn more on the time it takes for divorce and the process from Attorney Austin Miller of Sterling Law Offices.
In Wisconsin, as soon as you file service of your divorce papers against your spouse a 120 day waiting period will begin. The courts can not rule on your divorce until that period is completed. No court in Wisconsin can grant a divorce during this waiting period.
We encourage you to use this time to reach agreement on all issues that you can. If there are minor children involved, try and make a decision on custody and placement. Try and make decisions on alimony or what is known as spousal maintenance in Wisconsin. Reach a decision on property division. Make the required financial disclosures to the court and be prepared to disclose these agreements to the court.
Just after the 120 day waiting period for divorce, or within a month usually, you will be able to get your first court date. At that time, if you have a full agreement, the court can grant you a divorce.
There are several factors that can prolong the time it takes to get a divorce granted. In addition to the court calendar, any negotiations that are outstanding and any areas of contention will prolong the time till your divorce is finalized.
“When I am the attorney on a case with unresolved issues, it’s important that you are prepared to use the time in front of the judge effectively,” says Attorney Miller. “We need to be prepared to let the judge know these are the unresolved issues. These are the questions that need to be resolved.”
If the parties can not come to an agreement to reach a settlement, then they need to be prepared for a trial. This is where having an attorney that knows the court and the judges that you are in for your divorce will help. These attorneys know what the judge is looking for from each party. They know how the judge likes to discuss the issues and what they will want to hear from each party.
In addition to representing yourself DIY or known legally as a Pro Se Divorce, or hiring an attorney to advocate for you, there is the option for a mediation. If there is communication between the parties, then a mediator can sit down with you and without giving legal advice, but using guidelines help you work out the issues of your divorce.
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