File for Divorce in Wisconsin: A Quick Guide on How to File for Divorce in 10 Steps
Filing for divorce is a substantial decision that often marks a new chapter in life. In Wisconsin, this process follows a structured framework, providing clarity and direction during a challenging time. While specific terminologies and procedures might vary from county to county, the fundamental steps remain consistent. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of filing for divorce in Wisconsin, ensuring it’s both a swift and affordable endeavor. Whether you’re considering filing jointly for divorce with your spouse or initiating the process alone, this guide will help you navigate the process seamlessly.
1. File for Divorce: Choosing Your Filing Approach
To begin, you must decide how you want to proceed with filing for divorce in Wisconsin. You have the option of filing for divorce jointly with your spouse using the appropriate forms, such as FA-4110V (with Minor Children) or FA-4111V (without Minor Children). Conversely, you can choose to initiate the process individually by completing the necessary forms, FA-4108V (with Minor Children) or FA-4109V (without Minor Children).
2. File for Divorce: Temporary Hearing Consideration
If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement on critical matters such as child custody, child support, property use, and other similar issues, you may opt for a temporary hearing. This involves submitting an Order to Show Cause and Affidavit for Temporary Order (FA-4128VB & FA-4128VA with Minor Children or FA-4129VB & FA-4129VA without Minor Children) to the Family Court Commissioner.
3. File for Divorce: Initiating the Action
The initial step involves filing the summons and petition (or joint petition) for divorce or legal separation, along with the confidential petition addendum. This must be done by submitting the necessary documents and paying the requisite fee to the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Keep in mind that there is a mandatory 120-day waiting period before the court can schedule the final hearing for your divorce filing.
4. File for Divorce: Serving the Documents
To proceed, copies of the filed documents must be delivered or served to your spouse. This includes providing copies of the summons, petition, confidential petition addendum, and any proposed parenting plan. It’s crucial to file proof of this service with the Clerk of the Circuit Court to ensure the proper handling of your divorce filing.
5. File for Divorce: Obtaining a Temporary Order (if required)
If you initiated a temporary hearing (as discussed in step 2), attending the hearing is essential to have a temporary order issued. On the other hand, if an agreement is reached between you and your spouse, you can complete and submit a Stipulation for Temporary Order (FA-4126VA & FA-4126VB with Minor Children or FA-4127VA & FA-4127VB without Minor Children). If you and your spouse don’t believe a formal temporary order is necessary, you can skip this step for now, but remember that circumstances may change before the final hearing in your divorce case.
6. File for Divorce: Completing Mandatory Parenting Programs
In cases involving minor children, completing mandatory parenting programs is a crucial step. If mediation doesn’t lead to an agreement, you must submit a proposed parenting plan (FA-4147V) within 60 days of concluding mediation or as directed by the court. This step is integral to ensuring the well-being of your children during the divorce process.
7. File for Divorce: Scheduling the Next Hearing
Depending on your county, the court might automatically schedule the subsequent hearing or require you to initiate the scheduling process. This hearing, which varies based on the county, could potentially be the final hearing for your divorce case.
8. File for Divorce: Preparing for the Final Hearing
Before the final hearing for your divorce, several critical documents must be completed, including:
- Marital Settlement (FA-4150 with Minor Children or FA-4151V without Minor Children)
- Financial Disclosure Statements (FA-4139V)
- Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Judgment of Divorce (FA-4160VA with Minor Children or FA-4161VA without Minor Children)
- Vital Statistics Form (from the Clerk of Circuit Court office)
- Any other forms required by the Court
9. File for Divorce: Attending the Final Hearing
On the day of the final hearing for your divorce, make sure to arrive early, be well-prepared with your completed paperwork, and maintain a polite demeanor throughout the proceedings.
10. File for Divorce: Post-Hearing Formalities
After the final hearing for your divorce, it’s important to finalize any remaining necessary documents. This might include signing car titles and real estate deeds, dividing pension plans with the appropriate documents (QDRO), changing beneficiaries on life insurance policies, updating your will, and addressing other relevant matters.
Q1: Where can I find step-by-step guidance and necessary forms for the divorce process in Wisconsin?
A: You can find detailed instructions and required forms for the divorce process in Wisconsin by visiting the Wisconsin Courts website here. Additionally, forms are available for download at this link.
Q2: How can Dahlberg Law Group assist me in this process?
A: If you find the divorce process overwhelming or have specific legal questions, the professionals at Dahlberg Law Group are here to help. Their experienced team can provide affordable guidance and legal expertise to navigate the complexities of divorce proceedings in Wisconsin. Contact Attorney Latrice Knighton or Attorney Paul Santilli today to explore your options and ensure a smoother process and discover affordable payment plans for legal help.
Navigating the divorce process in Wisconsin can be both manageable and cost-effective with the right guidance. By following the steps outlined in this guide and utilizing the provided external resources, you can swiftly move forward with the process. Remember, seeking legal assistance from professionals like Dahlberg Law Group can provide invaluable support during this challenging time.