Going through a divorce is a stressful event even for couples who both agree their marriage should end. At the same time that emotions are at the forefront, important decisions need to be made that will have lifelong implications. Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state meaning all one party has to do is petition for a divorce alleging the marriage is irretrievably broken. It does not matter if the other party objects to the divorce.
Family law courts encourage the parties to enter into their own agreements concerning division of property and child custody and visitation. If you cannot do this, the court will make the decisions for you. Some of the decisions that need to be made include, but are not limited to:
Distribution of assets and liabilities
Wisconsin is a community property state. This means the assets you and your spouse accumulated during the course of your marriage that are jointly owned will be divided equally between the two of you. The same is true of your liabilities.
Child custody and visitation
If you and your spouse cannot agree on a parenting plan, the court will hold a hearing where both parents present evidence. If the children are old enough, the court may ask their preference, which will not be definitive, but will give the court added information. The deciding factor is what the court views is in the best interest of the children. Since it is in the best interest of the children to have a relationship with both parents, the noncustodial parent is usually given broad visitation rights.
Either party can ask the other for support. The court considers many factors, such as the length of the marriage, earning capacity and health of each spouse.
At Jonathan Olson & Associates in Green Bay, WI, we offer a free consultation to review your family law situation and advise you on the best approach for you to obtain relief.