Divorce can be a complicated and emotionally difficult process. When the parties cannot readily agree, the assistance of attorneys in extensive legal disputes may be necessary. In many cases, however, the parties to a dispute may not have the financial ability to pay for protracted battles involving an attorney. In other cases, the couple may be able to amicably resolve their dispute and reach a marital settlement agreement. In either case, if the parties decide to go it alone, the Wisconsin government provides basic divorce forms to assist. At Reddin & Singer, LLP, our Milwaukee divorce lawyers can answer any questions that you may have about these forms. We can also explain the benefits of using personalized legal counsel rather than a do-it-yourself form.Where do You Start?
After you have decided that it is necessary to get a divorce, the next question is often about how to start. The Wisconsin courts provide a basic guide to divorce and separation that is available online. This guide can walk you through some of the initial decisions that must be made and the forms that must be filled out.
The first decision that you must make is whether your spouse and you will be petitioning together and working cooperatively through the process, or if only one spouse will be filing the divorce forms. You must make the best decision that you can at the time of filing, and the court understands if the spouses later come to an agreement or fall out over certain issues.
The next decision to make is whether there are any urgent issues that need to be addressed by the court. For example, perhaps you want temporary placement of your children in your custody. Or it may be that your spouse is locking you out of your home. If there is any reason why you urgently need to see a judge, you can request an emergency hearing and fill out specific forms related to that request.Filing the Forms
Once the basic decisions are made, there are certain forms that you will need to file with the court based on your circumstances. As an example, if you are filing for a divorce on your own, and you are seeking emergency relief, you will need to fill out a Petition for Divorce and a Summons so that your spouse can be notified of the Petition. In addition, you will also file a Complete Order to Show Cause and Affidavit for a Temporary Order. All of these forms are available through the Wisconsin courts.
By contrast, if your spouse and you agree and are filing jointly, and you are perhaps seeking an initial order on which you both agree, you can complete a joint petition form, as well as a form for a complete stipulation for a temporary order.
When working on these forms, you should be prepared to provide a good deal of information about you as well as your spouse, your children, and your property. The court will eventually want you to fill out complete financial statement forms as well, which detail your income, assets, and debts. These forms help the court ensure that it has received all of the information that it needs in order to make a proper division of assets and debts between the two spouses.Contact a Milwaukee Attorney to Discuss Completing Divorce Forms
While the many different forms that are available to divorcing parties can seem overwhelming at first, the Wisconsin courts have provided information on which forms are appropriate for your circumstances, the important decisions that need to be made, and how the legal forms should be filled out. However, if you are facing a divorce involving complicated legal issues, custody battles, or significant property to distribute, there is no substitute for experienced legal counsel. The family law attorneys at Reddin & Singer, LLP are available to assist you. We advise people in Milwaukee, Racine, Ozaukee, West Bend, Mequon, Port Washington, and other areas of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Washington, and Waukesha Counties. You can contact us at (414) 271-6400 or online.