The decision to file for divorce is a difficult one and often occurs at an emotional period in a person’s life. At Reddin & Singer, we understand that the prospect of navigating the legal complexities of this process can seem overwhelming. Our family law lawyers have over two decades of experience helping to guide Milwaukee spouses through divorce proceedings. We provide you the comprehensive and thoughtful legal advice that you need to obtain an arrangement that protects your rights.The Wisconsin Divorce Process
The only requirements for beginning the divorce process in Wisconsin are that one of the spouses has been a resident of the state for at least six months and one spouse is alleging that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” This means that Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state. Neither spouse is required to prove that the other spouse engaged in actions resulting in the end of the marriage, such as infidelity or addiction. Both spouses do not need to agree to the divorce for it to proceed.
The process begins when one spouse files a Summons and Petition for Divorce with the court and serves these papers to the other spouse. The other spouse is then entitled to file a written Response and Counterclaim with the court. Where there are no contested issues between the parties, a final marital settlement agreement between them will be filed and a default hearing will occur. After this hearing, a “default divorce” is usually completed. This process will take at least 120 days.
When there are issues of contention, the divorce proceedings can take significantly longer and may involve disputes concerning alimony, child support, or child custody. In these circumstances, both parties will be required to disclose all relevant financial information and engage in mediation or negotiation for a marital settlement, or proceed to a full trial on the contested issues. A knowledgeable Wisconsin divorce attorney can help you navigate these various options.Alternative Ways to Dissolve a Marriage
In addition to the traditional divorce process, Wisconsin also provides for several legal alternatives for spouses who may wish to avoid this process for religious or other personal reasons. These include legal separation and annulment.
An annulment dissolves a marriage on the grounds that it was invalid from the beginning. This occurs in only a very limited set of circumstances, such as when one spouse was below the age of consent at the time of marriage, or was induced into marriage by fraud.
Legal separation is a process very similar to divorce, but it carries the additional requirement that both spouses are not allowed to remarry. Using this alternative, both spouses agree to a marital agreement that divides property and assets and provides for child custody arrangements. One year after these arrangements are finalized, either spouse may have the legal separation turned into a finalized divorce. However, if the couple resolves their disagreements, the legal separation can be revoked.Protect Your Rights During Divorce by Consulting a Milwaukee Lawyer
The process of divorce is often as complex as the couples it affects and may involve extensive mediation or negotiation to reach a marital agreement that meets both spouses’ needs. Despite everyone’s best efforts, however, when the process involves sensitive issues such as child custody or significant assets, it can quickly turn into an adversarial situation. At Reddin & Singer, our divorce attorneys offer clients throughout Milwaukee and the surrounding areas compassionate representation during negotiation and the aggressive advocacy that may be needed inside the courtroom. Attorney Terese Singer has over two decades of experience representing individuals in amicable settlement arrangements and contentious high-stakes divorce and is prepared to address all of your individual needs. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (414) 271-6400 or contact us online.
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