Steps Involved in Filing for Divorce in Wisconsin

When you file for divorce anywhere in the state of Wisconsin, there are several steps you need to follow and specific issues to consider. If there are minor children involved, you need to come up with a parenting plan. You and your partner will need to agree on child support payments in addition to potential alimony payments. You also need to consider the property division, including retirement accounts, assets, property, and debt. Depending on your situation, certain parts of the process may be more complex. Here is a basic guide to filing for divorce in Wisconsin: 

Step 1: File the Proper Paperwork

If you are initiating the divorce, you need first to complete a Summons and Petition. You file a Joint Petition if you are filing with your spouse. Certain additional paperwork is required if there are minor children involved. You’ll also need to file an Affidavit for Temporary Order if you and your partner disagree on specific divorce terms.  You need to file your paperwork and pay the appropriate fee at your local courthouse. 

Step 2: Serve the Other Party

This step involves serving your spouse with copies of the Petition, Summons, and Order to Show Cause. This process must be done according to strict guidelines, so refer to your local court to make sure you understand the deadlines. 

Step 3: Attend the Temporary Hearing and Trial

You have the opportunity to request a temporary hearing before trial if you wish. You need to bring income tax returns, a financial disclosure statement, and wage statements to prove financial need and assets during the hearing. Both parties must attend the trial to finalize the divorce. Failure to show up can result in an automatic win for your spouse. The judge will issue a final order and grant the divorce based on the evidence and documentation provided. 

Work With a Wisconsin Divorce Expert

If you are seeking a divorce and need guidance, contact Sparr, Belville & Brown, LLC. Our attorneys are experienced in many areas of divorce law, including alimony, child support, mediation, and property separation.