Top 5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Divorce Attorney

Filing for divorce image of a dad managing paperwork with a baby on his knee

Divorce can be a messy and stressful experience. There are many aspects to consider when filing for a divorce, especially if children are involved. Every divorce case is different and therefore, will need different services from an attorney. How, then, do you know which kind of divorce attorney to hire? Below are the top five questions you need to ask before you hire a divorce attorney.

What are the grounds for divorce in Wisconsin?

Before you hire a divorce attorney, you need to understand what the grounds for divorce are in Wisconsin. There are two ways a marriage can end in Wisconsin: dissolution or divorce.

If you and your spouse agree that you have irreconcilable differences and can resolve any relevant property division, support, and parenting issues, then you can file for dissolution. Filing for dissolution is the easier and cheaper way to end a marriage. However, if both parties are not in agreement, then you will need to file for a divorce.

There are also two qualifications needed for you to file for a divorce in Wisconsin. The first is that you must have lived in Wisconsin for at least the last six months, and the second is that in most cases, you must have lived in the same county of residence for at least 90 days.

What are my reasons for filing for divorce?

If you or your spouse are filing for divorce and are not in agreement, there needs to be a reason for filing for a divorce.

If you are filing for a divorce

You need a concrete reason for wanting a divorce if you want a divorce but your spouse does not. Otherwise, your spouse can challenge the divorce and make the process more difficult. To help with this, think about all of the reasons you want to file for divorce. Look for any trends in each of those reasons to see if there is one main underlying issue. Then, when you file for a divorce, be ready to clearly state and back up your reasons.

If your spouse is filing for a divorce

Now, if your spouse is the one who wants the divorce and you do not, you have options to try to stop the divorce from happening. You can challenge the divorce by providing evidence against the reasons your partner listed for wanting a divorce. Depending on the reasons, it can be easier or more difficult to make your case. However, with the right lawyers on your side, you can stop the divorce from happening.

What are my marital property rights?

Dividing property is one of the most challenging parts of a divorce, especially in Wisconsin. If you and your spouse have a lot of property to divide, you need an experienced divorce attorney who understands the division of property in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin is one of the few community property states. What is a community property state? Generally, a community property state means that when spouses divorce, their marital assets will be divided equally. There are a few exceptions to this, with the most likely being a prenuptial agreement that states how the property should be distributed.

Can my spouse and I make decisions without going to court?

If you and your spouse both want a divorce and can make decisions together, you can save a lot of time and money. This way, you can file for dissolution instead of a divorce and move the process along much quicker.

However, if you and your spouse cannot come to a resolution, you may need to consider divorce mediation or even go to court. Before you decide to hire an attorney, you need to think about what route you want to take. Divorces are messy, so you need an attorney who understands not only the proceedings but your situation as well.

What are the types of child custody in Wisconsin?

Divorce is difficult, but it is even more difficult when there are children involved. Before hiring an attorney, you need to understand the types of child custody in Wisconsin.

There are two types of child custody in Wisconsin:

  • Physical custody: the parent that has the children physically with them at any time. When you have physical custody of a child, you are responsible for providing food, shelter and supervision for the child.
  • Legal custody: the parent has the legal responsibility and legal right to make decisions for the children. When a parent has legal custody, it allows them to have access to the children’s medical records, grades at school and other private information, and it gives the parent legal decision-making authority in these areas.

Both parents can be granted joint physical and legal custody. However, if one parent is given sole custody of their child, it will be more difficult for the other parent to reverse the court ruling. This is why it is critical to understand the types of child custody before hiring an attorney so tha you can make sure you hire someone who is both experienced and knowledgeable in child custody cases.

Hire Divorce and Family Law Attorney Paul Santilli

Going through a divorce is not easy. However, by asking these preliminary questions and hiring an experienced attorney from Dahlberg Law Group, you can get through the divorce as smoothly as possible. Paul Santilli has 20 years of family law experience and is committed to giving you the representation you deserve.

Want to learn more about filing for divorce in Wisconsin? Contact Paul here to set up a consultation.

Need an opinion on your case?

How much is your injury worth?

Schedule your free consultation.

15 + 8 =