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Wisconsin Divorce Self-Help Center

Many customer Wisconsin divorce questions are answered here.  Browse from the topics below or use the search box to narrow your search.
 
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General Information State Procedures   Custody, Visitation, Support
  Property and Debts   Special Circumstances Additional Resources
GENERAL INFORMATION
What are the grounds for filing for divorce in Wisconsin? 2297
Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state. For a Wisconsin no-fault divorce, both parties must agree that the marriage has been irretrievably broken.
What if I have adult children from this marriage? 3609
Do not enter information about adult children of the marriage in the online interview. Information concerning adult children of the marriage will be need to be hand-written into the Joint Petition and the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Judgment.
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STATE PROCEDURES
What are the Wisconsin residency requirements for filing for divorce? 2296
Wisconsin requires at least one of the spouses to have been a resident of Wisconsin for at least six months and a resident of the county of filing for at least thirty (30) days immediately before the filing of a Joint Petition.
Where do I file my divorce papers in Wisconsin? 2290
In Wisconsin, a divorce is filed at the Circuit Court Clerk's office.

Your self-prepared DivorceWriter package includes detailed procedures on filing for divorce in the county you selected, including the address and telephone number of the Clerk of Court.
What are the basic steps to getting a divorce in Wisconsin? 2300
1) File the Joint Petition
2) A 120 day waiting period is required
3) Attend divorce education class (if required in your county)
4) File remainder of divorce documents
5) Obtain a date and time for the final hearing (if not already assigned)
6) Complete your paperwork for the final hearing, and
7) Attend the final hearing
How much is the filing fee in Wisconsin? 2301
In all counties except Milwaukee, the filing fee for a divorce that does not require spousal maintenance or child support is $184.50. If spousal maintenance or child support is required, the filing fee is $194.50.

In Milwaukee County, the filing fee for a divorce that does not require spousal maintenance or child support is $188.00. If spousal maintenance or child support is required, the filing fee is $198.00.
What documents are included in the self-prepared Wisconsin DivorceWriter package? 2302
Your self-prepared Wisconsin DivorceWriter package will include:

Joint Petition
Confidential Petition Addendum
Financial Disclosure Statements
Marital Settlement Agreement
Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Judgment

Customers with minor children will also receive:

Proposed Parenting Plan
Child Support Worksheets
Do we have to be separated to get a divorce in Wisconsin? 2305
There is no requirement that a couple be separated for any period of time in order to file for divorce in Wisconsin.
Can I change my name in Wisconsin divorce proceedings? 2306
In Wisconsin, either spouse may request to take back a former legal surname through divorce proceedings. Wis. Stats. 767.395.
Where do I find filing procedures and circuit court rules (Family Law) for my county? 2374
Filing Procedures for your county can be found at: https://prosefamily.wicourts.gov/pages/interview/start?which=basic_guide
(Note: Select the county you are filing in, click "next", click on "FA-4100 Basic Guide to Divorce/Legal Separation")

Wisconsin Circuit Court Rules for your county can be found at: http://www.wisbar.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Circuit_court_rules2
How long does it usually take to finalize a divorce in Wisconsin? 2303
In Wisconsin, at least four months (120 days) must pass between the filing of the Joint Petition and the final divorce hearing. Your divorce is final on the date of the hearing, as long as all divorce documents have been properly filed with the Court.
How do I serve my spouse with the divorce papers in Wisconsin? 2304
When a Joint Petition is filed, formal service is not required in a divorce action in Wisconsin, as both parties agree to all terms of the divorce.
Will either of us be required to attend a court hearing? 2292
In Wisconsin, both spouses must attend the final divorce hearing.
What is considered to be the date of separation in Wisconsin? 2294
The term "separation date" refers to the date when the spouses stopped living at the same residence. However, there is no requirement that a couple be separated for any period of time in order to file for divorce in Wisconsin.
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CUSTODY, VISITATION, SUPPORT
What are the different types of custody in Wisconsin? 2298
"Legal custody" means the right and responsibility to make major decisions concerning the child(ren), including education, health care, and religious upbringing.

"Joint legal custody" means that both parents have equal rights and responsibilities, including the right to participate in major decisions determining the child's upbringing, including education, health care, and religious training.

"Physical placement" means the child is physically placed with one party, who has the right and responsibility to make, during that placement, routine daily decisions regarding the child's care, consistent with major decisions made by a person having legal custody.

"Joint physical placement" means that the routine daily care and control and the placement of the child is shared between the parties.

See Wi. Stat. 767.001 Actions Affecting the Family
When can a child support order be modified in Wisconsin? 2299
The court can change a child support order if there is a substantial change in the circumstances of the parties and the modification is in the best interests of the child(ren). Common reasons for modification of child support include a significant change in the income of either party or a significant change in the needs of the child(ren).
What if my spouse and I have agreed to use a child support amount that is different from the standard amount set by the Child Support Guidelines? 2293
DivorceWriter calculates the child support amount using the child support guidelines according to Wisconsin's "Percentage of Income" standard.

The customer chooses whether to use the guideline calculation or to deviate from that calculation by entering a different child support amount. If the amount is a deviation from the basic support obligation, the customer will explain the reasons for the deviation in the Marital Settlement Agreement. The court will decide whether or not to approve the deviation.
How is child support calculated in Wisconsin? 2291
Based on the information provided by the customer when completing the Wisconsin online interview, a computer generated Child Support Worksheet is automatically created and sent to the customer as part of the DivorceWriter package.

The Percentage of Income standard is as follows:
17% for one child
25% for two children
29% for three children
31% for four children
34% for five or more children

For more information on Child Support in Wisconsin, see
We already have a child support order issued by a judge. Will we be able to keep the same amount? 2307
DivorceWriter provides the option to enter information regarding an existing child support order including the amount of support ordered and other identifying case information. Generally, you will also be expected to staple one copy of the prior child support order to each copy of the Joint Petition you will file with the Court.
How is child support calculated in Wisconsin? 3608
Based on the information provided by the customer when completing the Wisconsin online interview, a computer generated Child Support Worksheet is automatically created and sent to the customer as part of the DivorceWriter package.

The Percentage of Income standard is as follows:
17% for one child
25% for two children
29% for three children
31% for four children
34% for five or more children

For more information on Child Support in Wisconsin, see Department of Children and Families Percentage of Income Standard
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SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
What if one spouse is in the military? 803
If both parties are willing to sign the papers, ending your marriage when a spouse is in t... more
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CUSTOMER SERVICE
If unable to find help on this page, issues of a non-legal nature may be directed to customer service.
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