According to a recent study of divorce in Wisconsin compiled by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, there were a total of 16,635 divorces in Wisconsin in 2011. In the same year, the Wisconsin divorce rate was 2.9 percent—far lower than the 2010 national average.
I suppose that’s something we can be proud of.
But if you’re about to undergo this difficult and painful process, these numbers likely don’t provide you any comfort.
The reality is that divorce is a complicated and potentially messy thing, and will likely rank high among your life’s most trying experiences.
As an experienced Wisconsin family law firm, we meet many individuals, from all walks of life, who, for whatever reason, have chosen divorce.
But no matter who they are or what their reason may be for seeking a divorce, there are always several key points we stress to potential clients.
Key Points To Consider When Deciding On Divorce
The decision to get Divorced should not be taken lightly. Although this may seem like an obvious statement, it’s understandably easy for people not to consider certain details while wrapped up in the emotional turmoil that goes hand-in-hand with divorce.
The fact is that divorce can potentially upend your life in financial, relational, and emotional ways. You must be prepared for the life changes that will come from divorce.
Many well-meaning friends and family may offer you advice. It’s only natural that those close to you will want to help—and friends and family offering their advice can be great reassurance of the support you have.
However, it’s important to keep several things in mind when speaking with your networks about what you’re going through:
- There is no guarantee their advice is accurate.
- Be careful what you say and to whom. It’s easy for rumors to spread and for unwanted information to be inadvertently passed.
It’s always best to consult with an attorney first. Because friends and family won’t likely know the intricacies of Wisconsin family law, you should always speak to an experienced attorney prior to filing a divorce petition. It’s the only way you’ll know you’re getting accurate counsel.
What Are The Grounds For Divorce In Wisconsin?
This is a great question for those seeking a divorce in our state.
Wisconsin is what’s called a “no fault” state, which means that an individual does not need to state a specific reason for wanting a divorce.
Rather, the person seeking a divorce must only say that there is an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” and that there’s no “likelihood of reconciliation.”
How Do I Initiate A Petition For Divorce?
It’s important to understand that each county has its own local rules for processing a divorce case—a Rock County divorce will be different from a Dane County divorce, Walworth County divorce from a Winnebago County divorce, etc.
However, in any case, here’s a brief summary of how a Wisconsin divorce works:
- Either party may initiate the action by filing a Petition for Divorce. (**Important: It is a jurisdictional requirement that you or your spouse have resided in Wisconsin for 6 months and the county in which you wish to file for 30 days prior to commencement of the action.)
- Once the petition has been filed, the petition, in addition to a Summons, must be served on the other party within 20 days.
- Once served, the other party has 20 days from the date of service to file a response or a counterclaim.
Although divorce can be difficult and painful to undergo, knowing your rights from the outset of the process will be very valuable to resolving the issue in the best possible way.
If you’re interested to learn more about divorce or family law in Wisconsin, please Contact Us today. For additional frequently asked questions about Wisconsin family law, visit our Divorce and Separation Agreements page. And if you have any questions at all, feel free to leave us a question in our comments section below.
Photo courtesy of jenny818.