Download Wisconsin Divorce Forms

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File Jointly

Note: use these forms if you and your spouse ARE filing together.

Minor Children

NO Minor Children

File Separately

Note: use these forms if you and your spouse ARE NOT filing together.

Minor Children

NO Minor Children

Wisconsin Divorce Forms

A typical divorce in Wisconsin has three distinct phases, each of which requires specific forms and actions. Here is an overview of the Wisconsin divorce process and the forms that need to be completed for each step.

Step 1: Initial Filing

Divorce is never easy, but you and your spouse have both agreed to this divorce and you’ve reached an agreement on how to divide your property, accounts, debts, and/or child custody

  • PETITION FOR DIVORCE
  • DIVORCE SUMMONS
  • ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE
  • CONFIDENTIAL ADDENDUM

Step 2: Service of Paperwork

Service of paperwork is a critical step in the process and depending on the situation create unnecessary tension in an already crumbling relationship.

  • CIVIL PROCESS WORKSHEET
  • ADMISSION OF SERVICE
  • AFFIDAVIT OF SERVICE
  • AFFIDAVIT OF MAILING
  • PUBLICATION SUMMONS
  • PUBLICATION AFFIDAVIT OF MAILING

Step 3: Pretrial Hearing

The pretrial is the first opportunity to complete the divorce if an agreement is completed, documented and signed by both parties.

  • INTERIM FINANCIAL SUMMARY FOR SUPPORT
  • FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE STATEMENT
  • PARENTING PLAN
  • MARITAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
  • AFFIDAVIT OF NON-MILITARY SERVICE

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get divorce papers in Wisconsin?

All the necessary paperwork to file for a divorce is available on the Wisconsin E/file online forms assistant site. Your local courthouse will also be able to provide the documents required for filing for a divorce or legal separation.

The required documents for beginning the divorce process are known as:

  • Petition for Divorce/ Joint Petition or Divorce
  • Divorce Summons
  • Order to Show Cause
  • Confidential Petition Addendum
  • Parties have the option of file the Petition for Divorce jointly, known as an uncontested divorce. This process is very similar to a litigated divorce process but does not require either party to be served, this process simply requires that both parties sign the Joint Petition for Divorce.

    How much does it cost to file for a divorce in Wisconsin?

    Filing fees in Wisconsin can vary slightly based on the county and types of issues involved in the divorce. Typically, you can expect to pay fees between $175 and $190. For low income individuals, the court does allow for qualifying individuals to file an Affidavit of Indigency which, if approved, may qualify an individual to have those filing fees waived.

    In addition to the filing fees, contested divorces will also require the Petitioner to have the initial court documents personally served on the Respondent (opposing party) once those documents are filed. The local police department can provide this service for a fee, otherwise a private process server needs to be contacted.

    The range of fees for having a party serve can range from $70-$200.

    How long does it take to get divorce in Wisconsin?

    Wisconsin has a mandatory 120 day “cooling off” period which starts once both parties in the action have been made aware of the filing. For contested divorces, this time period starts once the Respondent has been served and the affidavit is filed with the court.

    For those filing a Joint Petition, no service is required due to both parties signing the petition and that time period starts once the documentation is filed with the court.

    During the cooling off period, the divorce cannot be finalized, however many parties take that time to put together their financial disclosure documents and the parenting plan (if applicable) which are both required in order for a divorce case to be finalized.

    After the waiting period, the time period for finalizing a divorce is typically 6-12 months depending on the county and that court calendar.

    Cases that are highly contested can take as long as two years to be finalized. Issues that are the most highly contest tend to be custody and placement issues and disputes on property division and support.

    Does it matter who files for divorce first in Wisconsin?

    There is no real benefit to filing first in Wisconsin because it is a no-fault state. However, for those parties that may need financial assistance from their spouse during the pendency of the divorce, they may benefit from filing sooner in order to request a Temporary Orders Hearing which can assist them in getting temporary support and other orders in place while the divorce is ongoing.

    The Petitioner is however responsible for paying filing fees and service fees which can be as much as $200 as well as additional attorney costs because the Petitioner is normally required to submit more paperwork than the respondent.

    Can I file divorce by myself?

    All of the documents needed to file for divorce are available at the local courthouse or online on Wisconsin's F-filing Online Form assistant website.

    It is not required to have an attorney to file for a divorce nor is it required that the spouse participate or agree with the divorce in order to file. If a party chooses to file without the assistance of an attorney, that Petitioner is considered a 'Pro Se' party.

    The forms necessary to begin the divorce process are:

    • Petition for Divorce/ Joint Petition or Divorce
    • Divorce Summons
    • Order to Show Cause
    • Confidential Petition Addendum
    • Many attorneys will assist pro se individuals on a limited basis in order to provide some limited assistance with filling out and instructions on how to file the paperwork and how to have the other party served in a contested case.

Divorce Options that Work for You

There are three basic types of divorce. The first step in obtaining a Wisconsin divorce is deciding which process is right for you.

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