Divorce In Wisconsin
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Just as with marriage, no two divorces are alike. Many people facing divorce wonder how they might fare during the process only to be left with few conclusive answers. This ongoing uncertainty not only makes the divorce process seem lengthy and complex, and making informed decisions difficult. At the law office of MacGillis Wiemer LLC, it is our goal as skilled Milwaukee divorce attorneys to ease the stress and fear caused by a divorce. We work hard to ensure you are well-informed on all aspects of the divorce process. We help you understand your rights and how the system works, with dedicated, compassionate representation through every step of the process.
What should I know about divorce in Wisconsin?
Possibly one of the most significant aspects of Wisconsin family law is that Wisconsin is one of only nine states considered to be community property states, meaning that all property, income and debts acquired during a marriage is presumed to be marital property. Because one of the key purposes of the divorce process is to equitably divide property between spouses, this becomes important, as a spouse seeking to protect a particular asset as being their individual property must offer evidence showing that either:
- It was acquired or purchased prior to the marriage;
- It was gifted to an individual spouse; or
- It was bequeathed via will solely to an individual spouse alone
However, property and assets meeting one of these three requirements may still become classified as marital property if it was used to benefit the marriage.
Because each spouse in a divorce action is entitled to half of the marital property, other issues often in dispute include:
- The value of non-cash assets—Determining the fair market value of property such as ownership interest in a closely-held business, or a unique collectable, can be subject to many conflicting methodologies
- The division of assets—Sometimes an asset cannot be divided without causing it to lose value. It is also possible for such an asset, such as the family home, to represent more than 50% of the total marital assets.
If the spouses cannot reach an equitable property settlement agreement on their own, such as through mediation, or out-of-court negotiation, they must then litigate these issues before a judge.
What about my children? Can I get child support or custody?
There are two determinations which must be made when a divorcing couple has underage children. First is the matter of legal custody, which refers to the parental right to make parenting decisions regarding the child’s education, religion, and medical treatment. The second matter is that of physical placement, which denotes which parent the child is to be placed with and when.
Divorcing couples are encouraged to work through, often through mediation, a parenting plan which includes an agreement about legal custody as well as a placement schedule. The parenting plan must meet with the approval of a judge, and must represent the best interests of the child.
The other major issue in a divorce is that of child support, which, in Wisconsin, is considered to be the right of the child, and not the parent. This means that not only is the child entitled to support which is determined by a statutory formula, and is subject to court enforcement, but also that the parent receiving support payments on behalf of the child is not permitted to waive the child’s right to receive that support
Trust an experienced Milwaukee divorce attorney to handle your Wisconsin divorce
The complexities and unique aspects of Wisconsin family law do not have to be a drawback. At the law offices of MacGillis Wiemer LLC in Wauwatosa, putting one of our knowledgeable Milwaukee divorce attorneys on your side can be advantageous. To find out more about our state courtroom experience and your divorce options, contact us at: (414) 727-5150 or contact us online.