Property Divided in Divorce: Discover What You Are Guaranteed and Feel Confident Moving Forward with a Divorce in Wisconsin
Navigating the complex landscape of property division during a divorce can be challenging and emotionally charged. At Dahlberg Law Group, we understand the importance of this process in maintaining financial stability and basic needs. In this guide, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive overview of property division in Wisconsin divorces, helping you understand your rights and options.
Property Divided in Divorce: Understanding Wisconsin’s Community Property System
Wisconsin operates under a community property system, which means that marital property and assets are typically divided equally (50/50) in the event of a divorce, legal separation, or annulment. However, certain exceptions exist, including property that was gifted to an individual spouse or inherited by one person. These exceptions can be excluded from the 50/50 division.
The Process of Dividing Property
Dividing property during a Wisconsin divorce can occur through either an agreement between the parties or a decision by the court. If an agreement is reached, the court will review and approve it if it’s fair and equitable. If the case proceeds to court, the division will be determined based on the specific circumstances.
Wisconsin courts prioritize the equal distribution of marital assets and consider various factors, including:
- Length of the marriage
- Property brought into the marriage by each spouse
- Age and health of both spouses
- Contributions made by each spouse to the marriage
- Earning capacity of each spouse
- Non-marital property that isn’t subject to division
Property Divided in Divorce: Understanding Marital and Separate Property
Marital property encompasses assets acquired during the marriage and is subject to division. Community property, another term for marital property, includes all property acquired during the marriage. Separate property, or non-marital property, refers to assets that are not part of the marital estate. An example of this is property acquired through gift or inheritance from a third party.
Property Divided in Divorce: Dividing the Marital Home
The division of assets often raises questions about the marital home. Judges consider factors such as the source of funds used to purchase the home, whether the purchase occurred before or during the marriage, and the role of the home during the marriage. Judges aim to ensure that both spouses’ contributions are recognized.
Property Divided in Divorce: Options for Property Division
Couples have several options for property division:
- Mutual Agreement: If both parties are amicable and can negotiate, they can reach their own agreement on property division.
- Mediation: Couples willing to negotiate but seeking professional assistance can opt for mediation, where a mediator helps facilitate discussions.
- Court Decision: If no agreement is reached, the court will make the final decision on property division based on the available evidence and arguments.
Property Divided in Divorce: Addressing Common Concerns
- Debt Division: Marital debts are also divided 50/50 unless unique circumstances apply. Creditors may not always recognize debt division, potentially leading to financial issues after the divorce.
- Retirement Benefits: Retirement accounts are considered marital property and are split equally, even if only one spouse contributed financially.
- Transferring Titles: After property division, ex-spouses must transfer titles appropriately. This may involve quitclaim deeds and refinancing loans.
Property Divided in Divorce: Frequently Asked Questions
- Duration of Marriage: All marriages, regardless of length, split marital assets 50/50. The length of the marriage is only one of many factors considered.
- Staying in the Marital Home: Both parties have equal rights to the marital home throughout the divorce process.
- Equitable Distribution: Wisconsin is not an equitable distribution state; it’s a community property state where marital property is divided equally.
- Prenuptial Agreements: Prenups can protect assets by outlining property division in case of divorce, but their effectiveness can vary.
- Impact of Behavior: Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state, so behavior typically has little impact on property distribution.
For more personalized guidance on property division or any other aspect of divorce, consult the experienced attorneys at Dahlberg Law Group. Our skilled team, including Attorney Latrice Knighton and Attorney Paul Santilli, is here to ensure a smooth and fair process. If you have further questions or need immediate assistance, please call (262) 667-8999.