sWisconsin Divorce Laws
Residency Requirements for a Wisconsin Divorce Action
As a requirement in filing for divorce in Wisconsin, either of the spouses must be a resident of the State for at least 30 days prior to the filing of the Wisconsin divorce forms.
Wisconsin Grounds For Divorce
The State of Wisconsin only recognizes one ground for Divorce which is irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
Either one or both parties can attest that there is no probability that the marital union can still be fixed. If only one spouse is saying that the marriage is beyond fixing but both have been living apart for 12 consecutive months immediately prior to the filing of the divorce action, the court may rule that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Child Custody Law in Wisconsin
The court looks into many relevant factors before arriving at child custody decisions in Wisconsin. However nasty, costly, and lengthy a divorce proceeding could get, the court ultimately looks into the child’s best interest as paramount.
Parents may be granted either Sole Custody (sole physical custody or sole legal custody) or Joint Custody (joint physical custody or joint legal custody), depending on the circumstances and pieces of evidence presented in court.
Each parent must be able to demonstrate their capacity and willingness to take responsibility in raising the child if they wish to be granted Joint Legal or Physical Custody. Both must be willing to share duties and responsibilities as parents to promote the child’s welfare. They must be willing to cooperate with each other in making important decisions in raising the child.
Parents with history of inter-spousal battery or domestic violence, child abuse, alcohol or substance abuse will have a hard time being awarded custody.
The court may make subsequent changes to its child custody decisions such as pertaining to the child’s medical and dental care, child care, support, and other custody issues by virtue of the court’s continuing jurisdiction.
Guidelines for Wisconsin Child Support
Wisconsin child support standards consider the combined monthly gross income of both parents and the cost of raising the child including but not limited to cost of education, food, clothing, medicine, plus other expenses like health and/or dental insurance.
Monthly support is determined with the application of these guidelines using the Flat Percentage of Income Model, keeping in consideration the reasonable expenses in rearing the child and the income and earning capacity of each parent. The court may modify the amount of support if one party so requests it, based on relevant grounds.
Where to file for a divorce?
The filing of the Wisconsin divorce forms must be in the county of residence of the plaintiff (petitioner).
For a fast and inexpensive divorce process, you can file Wisconsin online divorce forms.
Refer to the “Divorce Requirements for Wisconsin Residents” above and also review the best online divorce sites.
Divorce mediation is available in Wisconsin, where former spouses have the option to resolve their disputes between themselves, with the help of a third-party mediator. It may not be advisable for situations where one party is aggrieved due to domestic violence, adultery or child abuse which seeks punishment for the other party.
Before or after filing the Wisconsin divorce papers, parties may decide if mediation is what they need to cushion the pain in the divorce process and if they can arrive at a win-win resolution by themselves in aspects pertaining to division of property and debts, child custody and support, among other concerns.
Need information for a different state?
You may also visit the Wisconsin courts website