Divorce in Wisconsin


Filing divorce paperwork

The process for divorce in Wisconsin starts with filing paperwork. To get a divorce, a petition and a summons are filed with the county clerk. Those filing for divorce in Dane County can access the paperwork here, but each county in Wisconsin has a different website. If you’re considering filing for divorce but don’t know if you should do so, it’s probably in your best interest to contact an experienced Wisconsin divorce attorney. Family law attorneys know how a divorce may affect a particular client based on their financial situation and they can properly handle the filing of your divorce paperwork.


The divorce hearing

A divorce can only be resolved in one of two ways. It can resolve either by a marital settlement agreement reached by the parties and their attorneys or by a trial. A marital settlement agreement must resolve all issues, such as child custody, child support, maintenance, property division, etc., in a complete and final manner. If your case requires a trial, during your divorce hearing your attorney will present evidence and testimony to the judge in the most favorable way possible for your case. Your  divorce lawyer will also attack the case presented by the other side. Preparation, determination, and toughness by your legal representative are the keys to winning.


The Wisconsin divorce trial

Wisconsin divorce trials in Madison, Milwaukee and surrounding areas can be extremely difficult. This is especially true if those involved cannot agree on matters involving children. Parties to a divorce must seek mediation if couples can’t agree in these crucial areas. In special cases when child custody, child placement or visitation are hotly contested, a court-appointed guardian ad litem will have to step in. The guardian ad litem not only advocates for the child’s best interest in Wisconsin divorce court but also conducts interviews to determine which parent the child should get placed with. A guardian ad litem can also help determine child support in a Madison divorce case.


Divorce Basics

What you need to know

To file a divorce in Wisconsin, you must meet basic residency requirements. You can start the process of getting a divorce by filing with the clerk in your particular county. In order to file for divorce, you only have to acknowledge that your marriage is broken beyond repair. A divorce attorney can make sure you stay organized as you begin the divorce process. Filing a divorce action in the appropriate manner is crucial in having a successful divorce.

Child Custody

What you need to know

In most family law cases, courts try to maximize a child’s time with both parents after a divorce. However, the parent with legal custody still gets to make crucial decisions on behalf of the child. Courts do consider each parent’s relationship with the children in a divorce, and they also take the child’s wishes into account in most cases. In the absence of legal custody, a divorce attorney can still make sure you play a role in the life of your child after a divorce.

Child Support

What you need to know about child support

Wisconsin courts have specific rules for setting child support amounts. Child support amounts typically last until a child is an adult and can only be changed under very specific circumstances. Therefore, it’s important that you end up paying the right amount in child support from the very beginning. If you believe your former spouse in a divorce isn't paying the right amount in child support, a divorce attorney can help you address this situation.


Helping Families Get What They Deserve.

A divorce or other family law matter is a life-changing event for you, and if you are a parent, for your children. It is an evnt that will change lives for years or perhaps forever. That’s why it’s so important to get an attorney and not just any attorney, but the right attorney

We have over 25 years of family experience and we can be aggressive when your family needs to get what they deserve. When a client retains our services we personally take care of their case. Our goal is to get you what you want. Whether that is collaborative divorce, mediation or litigation.

We are a renowned Wisconsin Divorce & Family Law Firm. We've represented Wisconsin residents in many counties across the state, including Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, DaneRock, Jefferson, Kenosha and  counties. Don’t let your spouse in a difficult divorce case prevent you from getting the settlement your family deserves.


What you need to know about alimony

In a divorce, Wisconsin courts aim to establish financial equality between spouses. Alimony, or spousal maintenance, is the main way courts do this. There is such a thing as temporary alimony, but most alimony orders are permanent, so it’s important that spouses have a bold legal advocate to argue their case in a divorce trial. Although marriage is supposed to be a give-and-take, oftentimes one spouse sacrifices more than the other during a marriage. Factors such as these can influence how much alimony is paid after a divorce is finalized.

John T. Fields & Associates

Wisconsin Divorce & Family Law Firm

We are here for you



Divorce with children



Property Division

What you need to know about property division

Wisconsin family law guidelines are pretty clear-cut when it comes to property division during a divorce. Although there are exceptions, assets are usually split evenly. Still, property division can get pretty complicated. Dishonest spouses will hide or undervalue marital assets to cheat the other party out of his or her fair share. In property division cases, a divorce attorney will help you avoid being taken advantage of. Many types of assets, including ones you probably never thought of, can be divided during the divorce process.


Alimony in Wisconsin

Alimony in Wisconsin is decided at the end of a Wisconsin divorce trial. Whether or not these decisions work in your favor depends heavily on the skill of your divorce attorney and the specifics of your case. A party can waive his or her right to alimony, but anyone seeking a divorce must realize that this waiver is permanent. Sometimes, alimony payments are temporary, until one spouse can become self-supporting.  At other times, however, they are permanent. Our attorneys will explore all of the options with you and work to make sure that you get the best outcome. They understand Wisconsin divorce law and how the law can protect you. Our Alimony Payment Calculator can help you estimate alimony payments.


Property Division in Wisconsin

Property division in Wisconsin is decided by the court if the two spouses can’t reach an agreement on how to divide their marital property. Property division in Wisconsin is often one of the most contentious parts of a divorce proceeding. The more property and assets one has, the greater their need for an aggressive divorce attorney who knows the Wisconsin legal system. Courts weigh numerous factors when considering how to divide property, and you can read about these factors here. You may be surprised to learn the assets that can be divided during a Madison divorce. These include retirement investments, vacation homes, money deposits and more. Check out our Asset Division Worksheet to better understand your situation.


Child custody, placement and visitation

Decisions involving children can add stress to the divorce process. Disagreements over children are sometimes emotional, and spouses often need legal counsel who understands their situation.  Joint custody is an option in family law cases and requires both parties to agree on major decisions that can affect the lives of their children. Still, primary placement needs to be decided in Wisconsin child custody cases. The courts, based on the arguments presented by divorce attorneys, will give physical custody to one parent. If a parent doesn’t get full custody of their child, he or she can still get visitation rights. To help you better understand  child custody, placement and visitation take time to fill out our Parenting Plan.


My daughter and I contacted Attorney Fields office She is going thru a divorce and the only goal has been to help with a custody battle. She is trying to keep her two small boys in a safe environment. Attorney Fields gave us hope and courage and has been our champion.  Attorney Fields has been the voice and our courage to stay strong in our resolve to protect physically, emotionally and mentally the health of my grandchildren.

Katie C. via Google Reviews

I went through a long and hard divorce and custody fight. John T. Fields and  Assoc. really fought for me. They told me what needed to be done and when and filed everything for me in a timely matter. I couldn’t have asked for a better law office. They helped me get full placement of my daughter and still have answered any questions that I had after the divorce was finalized. Definitely recommend!

Laura M. via Yelp

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