What are the requirements to divorce in Wisconsin?

In order to qualify for a divorce in Wisconsin, one or both of the spouses must have lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing under 767.06 (1m) of the existing code.

Like many other jurisdictions in the country, Wisconsin is a “no-fault” divorce state. What essentially this means is that neither spouse has to lay blame for the demise of their marriage. Instead, a husband or wife needs only to say that their marital relationship is “irretrievably broken,” or beyond repair, in order to be allowed to move forward with a divorce.

At some point before the divorce is finalized, a judge will ask both spouses if they’ve lived apart from one another for at least 12 months. They will also ask if both agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken down. A judge may also seek to make sure that the couple understands that there are alternatives to filing for divorce including legal separation or annulment.

Under §767.12 of Wisconsin state code, any couple who cannot agree to those two earlier points may be required to first participate in couples’ counseling. A judge may also only reconsider their divorce petition once if at least 30 days have passed since the original hearing took place.

Once a judge enters in a judgment in the case, it becomes effective immediately. Wisconsin code 767.37(2) prohibits former spouses from remarrying within the first six months of their divorces being finalized, though.

Making a decision to divorce often isn’t easy for the spouses involved. Frayed emotions often make it difficult for a former couple to see eye-to-eye about how to split up the finances or share custody of the kids. The handling of some of the most complex property division or child or spousal support situations should be left to an Oshkosh family law attorney with decades of experience counseling clients facing similar situations.