Menomonee Falls, WI Family Law Attorneys
Menomonee Falls WI Family Law Attorneys
We have the experience and resources to help defend and protect your legal rights.
Although most people associate family law with divorce, the reality is that this area of the law covers a wide range of issues, including not only divorce, but also legal separation, child custody, alimony, premarital agreements, and asset division. These issues are notoriously complex, as well as emotional, so if you are grappling with one or more of these problems, you should consider consulting with a Menomonee Falls, WI family law attorney who can explain your legal options.
Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state, which means that neither spouse is required to prove that the other did something wrong or caused the marriage to fail in order to obtain a divorce. Instead, the parties just need to agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken and that there is no chance for reconciliation. At this point, the parties can file for divorce, although in order to do so, one of them must:
- Have been a resident of the state for no less than six months; and
- Live in the county in which they are filing for divorce for at least one month.
If these requirements are fulfilled, the parties can then petition the court for divorce, either jointly or separately, but must then:
- Prepare for a series of hearings on issues related to property division, alimony, child support, and custody;
- File all required documentation;
- Complete necessary paperwork; and
- Receive approval on a marital settlement agreement.
There is also a 120-day waiting period that begins after filing, and which must be honored before a court will grant a divorce.
Unlike divorce, legal separation does not end a marriage, although the forms, procedures, and waiting period for obtaining a legal separation are the same as those required for divorce. Spouses are also not required to state a reason for the separation, although both will need to testify under oath that the relationship is broken. It is also possible to convert a legal separation into a divorce, although if both parties do not agree to do so, the filing spouse must wait for at least a year from the date that the separation was granted before petitioning the court.
Mediation and Child Custody
For couples with children, determining how parenting time will be divided is one of the most difficult aspects of a divorce. Recognizing the effect of lengthy legal proceedings on children, Wisconsin courts require all parents who cannot agree about legal custody and physical placement of their children to attend mediation. These sessions are overseen by a neutral third party and are intended to help parents negotiate and eventually reach an agreement that is in all parties’ best interests. When parents are still unable to come to an agreement, however, the court will step in and create a parenting plan on their behalf that details how responsibility for child-related decision making will be divided, as well as how much time each parent will be able to spend with their child.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Menomonee Falls, WI Family Law
If you are struggling with a family law-related issue, you need the advice of an experienced attorney who can help protect your interests. Please call the legal team of MacGillis Wiemer, LLC at 414-727-5150 today to learn more about how we can help you.