Making the decision to file for divorce is never easy.

When a relationship falters and seems beyond the point of repair, it might make sense for both parties to legally part ways. While difficult, certain factors can make filing for divorce less of a burden. It certainly pays to have the preparation and determination of an experienced Madison divorce lawyer. An adequate legal representative must have keen familiarity with all Wisconsin divorce laws that may impact a case.


Understanding Wisconsin divorce laws


For those wondering if they actually have legal grounds for a divorce in Wisconsin, it’s important to understand that Wisconsin is a “no fault” divorce state. This means the petitioner, or the person filing for divorce, doesn’t need to prove any wrongdoing from the other party. Irreconcilable differences, or irretrievable breakdown, is the only ground required when filing.

Before looking into how to get a divorce, it helps to understand the residency requirements of Wisconsin divorce law. At least one spouse must have legal residency in the state of Wisconsin for 6 months prior to filing. They also need to be legal residents of the county in which they file for at least 30 days.


How to file for divorce in Wisconsin


An attorney with the right experience will know the lay of the land with respect to Wisconsin divorce laws. To help give our clients peace of mind during the divorce process, the attorneys at John T. Fields & Associates will also provide guidance when filing for divorce.

Clients must consider the unique circumstances of a situation when considering whether or not to file. The process differs when spouses file together as opposed to when they file separately. The method of filing for divorce in Wisconsin also depends on whether minor children (under the age of 18) are involved.

Different rules for filing apply to both petitioners and responders in a divorce case. In Wisconsin divorce cases without minor children involved, petitioners will need to fill out the Summons without Minor Children and Petition without Minor Children, in addition to the necessary confidentiality and financial disclosure forms.

Separate Wisconsin divorce forms pertain to cases where minor children are involved. The respective Summons and Petition documents with Minor Children apply here – but petitioners must also submit a proposed parenting plan.

Regardless of whether or not children are involved, respondents need to fill out an alternative set of Wisconsin divorce forms. In most cases, the Response and Counterclaim must be filed, along with an Admission of Service and the appropriate financial disclosure statement.

In our multiple decades practicing family law, we have fiercely defended both petitioners and respondents. As Madison’s pit bull law firm, we know what it takes to win a case. From the moment our clients file their forms, until the moment a settlement is reached, we are fight to defend their rights.

John T. Fields & Associates are always here to help. We serve Madison, Wisconsin and surrounding areas.  If you have questions or you would like to schedule a free consultation contact us today.