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What is the Process of Property Division in Wisconsin?

Latrice Milton Knighton Attorney At Sterling Law Offices 150X150 1

Latrice Knighton is an award-winning divorce attorney, life coach, and speaker. She solves problems using her experience and legal knowledge to offer practical advice.

Jun 14, 2021

The breakdown of a marriage can have an affect on everything surrounding the lives of the two people, but it can also take a toll on one's mental state as well. One of the many items that need to be discussed during a divorce is asset and debt distribution.

Property can be split between personal property and real estate. Property can also be broken down further into marital, gifted, or pre-marital. Marital property includes property your spouse contributed towards its appreciation or preservation even if only indirectly.

Property division is governed by statute. This means that there are laws set in place that form the distribution of property in a divorce.

The main goal of the division process is to determine who is going to get what of the marital property and split up the pie into an equal division of the assets.

  • What factors does the court consider when dividing property?
    • The length of the marriage
    • What property each person brought to the marriage
    • Whether one of the parties has substantial assets not subject to division by the court
    • The contribution of each party to the marriage, giving appropriate economic value to each party’s contribution in homemaking and child care services.
    • The age and physical and emotional health of the parties.
    • The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other.
    • The earning capacity of each party
    • The desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live therein for a reasonable period to the party having physical placement for the greater period of time.
    • The duration and amount of an order granting maintenance payments to either party, any order for periodic family support payments and whether the property division is in lieu of such payments.
    • Other economics circumstances of party
    • Tax consequences of property division to each party
    • Any written agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage concerning any arrangement for property distribution

How can this process be simplified?

If you and your spouse can agree on how things will be divided, and if your agreement is reasonable, it will usually be approved by court. If you cannot agree, the court will divide the property.

What are the do NOTs of property division?

Do not hide assets as they’re usually found and it makes you look bad in the eyes of the court.

Are there any hidden fees or expenses behind property distribution?

Be careful of important tax issues. Transfer of property from spouse to spouse during a divorce is usually not taxable, but transfer of income from an asset can be taxable.

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