Wisconsin Divorce Forms

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Wisconsin Divorce Law

Download completed Wisconsin divorce forms based upon the answers you provide in the online interview. We provide Wisconsin State Approved downloadable Wisconsin divorce kits, complete with divorce instructions, to allow you to obtain a divorce in Wisconsin. Download your uncontested or no fault Wisconsin divorce papers and eliminate any divorce attorney. Click the Start Now button and begin your online divorce today.

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Divorce Residency Essentials to Get Divorce in Wisconsin

One of the spouses must have been a resident of Wisconsin for six months and of the county for 30 days immediately prior to filing where the divorce is filed. No hearing on the divorce will be scheduled until 120 days after the defendant is served the summons or after the filing of a joint petition. [Wisconsin Statutes Annotated; Sections 767.05 and 767.083].


Reasons for Divorce in Wisconsin

Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage is the only valid grounds for divorce in the state of Wisconsin. The irretrievable breakdown of the marriage may be shown by:

  • A joint petition by both spouses requesting a divorce on these grounds;
  • Living separate and apart for 12 months immediately prior to filing; or
  • If the court finds an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage with no possible chance at reconciliation. [Wisconsin Statutes Annotated; Section 767.07 and 767.12].

Custody of the Children in Wisconsin

Joint or sole child custody, “legal custody and physical placement,” may be awarded based on the best interests of the child and the following:

  • The preference of the child;
  • The wishes of the parents;
  • The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, religion, and community;
  • The mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
  • The relationship of the child with parents, siblings, and other significant family members;
  • Any findings or recommendations of a neutral mediator;
  • The availability of childcare;
  • Any spouse or child abuse;
  • Any significant drug or alcohol abuse;
  • Whether one parent is likely to unreasonably interfere with the child’s relationship with the other parent;
  • Any parenting plan or other written agreement between the spouses regarding the child;
  • The amount of quality time that each parent has spent with the child in the past;
  • Any changes that a parent proposes in order to spend more time with the child in the future;
  • The age of the child and the child’s developmental and educational needs;
  • The cooperation and communication between the parents and whether either parent unreasonably refuses to cooperate with the other;
  • The need for regularly-occurring and meaningful periods of physical placement in order to provide predictability and stability for the child; and
  • Any other factors [except the sex and race of the parent]. [Wisconsin Statutes Annotated; Section 767.24].

Property Distribution in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is now a “community property” state. There is a presumption that all marital property should be divided equally. Marital property is all of the spouse’s property except separate property consisting of:

  • Property inherited by either spouse;
  • Property received as a gift by either spouse; or
  • Property paid for by funds acquired by inheritance or gift.

The equal distribution may be altered by the court, without regard to marital misconduct, based on the following factors:

  • The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of each spouse as homemaker;
  • The value of each spouse’s separate property;
  • The length of the marriage;
  • The age and health of the spouses;
  • The occupation of the spouses;
  • The amount and sources of income of the spouses;
  • The vocational skills of the spouses;
  • The employability and earning capacity of the spouses;
  • The federal income tax consequences of the court’s division of the property;
  • The standard of living established during the marriage;
  • The time necessary for a spouse to acquire sufficient education to enable the spouse to find appropriate employment;
  • Any premarital or marital settlement agreements;
  • Any retirement benefits;
  • Whether the property award is instead of or in addition to maintenance;
  • Any custodial provisions for the children; and
  • Any other relevant factor.

The court may also divide any of the spouse’s separate property in order to prevent a hardship on a spouse or on the children of the marriage. [Wisconsin Statutes Annotated; Sections 766.01 to 766.97 and 767.255].


Wisconsin Spousal Support Guidelines

Either spouse may be ordered to pay maintenance to the other spouse, without regard to marital misconduct. The factors for consideration are as follows:

  • The time necessary to acquire sufficient education and training to enable the spouse to find appropriate employment and that spouse’s future earning capacity;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The financial resources of the spouse seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to such spouse and such spouse’s ability to meet his or her needs independently;
  • The comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their comparative earning abilities;
  • The contribution of each spouse to the marriage, including services rendered in homemaking, childcare, education, and career-building of the other spouse;
  • The tax consequences to each spouse;
  • The age of the spouses;
  • The physical and emotional conditions of the spouses;
  • The vocational skills and employability of the spouse seeking maintenance;
  • The length of absence from the job market of the spouse seeking maintenance;
  • The probable duration of the need of the spouse seeking maintenance;
  • Any custodial and child support responsibilities;
  • The educational level of each spouse at the time of the marriage and at the time the divorce is filed for;
  • Any mutual agreement between the spouses; and
  • Any other relevant factor.

The court may combine maintenance and child support payments into a single “family support” payment. The maintenance payments may be required to be paid through the clerk of the court. [Wisconsin Statutes Annotated; Sections 767.26, 767.261, and 767.29].


Wisconsin Child Support Guidelines

Either or both parents may be ordered to pay child support and health care expenses. The factors to be considered are:

  • The financial resources of the child;
  • The standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the marriage had not been dissolved;
  • The physical and emotional conditions and educational needs of the child;
  • The financial resources, earning capacity, needs, and obligations of the parents;
  • The age and health of the child, including the need for health insurance;
  • The desirability of the parent having custody remaining in the home as a full-time parent;
  • The cost of daycare to the parent having custody if that parent works outside the home or the value of the childcare services performed by that parent;
  • The tax consequences to each parent;
  • The award of substantial periods of physical placement to both parents [joint custody];
  • Any extraordinary travel expenses incurred in exercising the right to periods of physical placement;
  • The best interests of the child;
  • Maintenance received by either party; and
  • Any other relevant factors.

There are official guidelines and percentage standards for child support are available from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Bureau of Child Support. The court may require that child support payments be guaranteed by an assignment of income, that the payments be made through the clerk of the court, or that health insurance be provided for the children. The court may also order a parent to seek employment. The court may order spousal maintenance and child support payments be combined into a “family support” payment. [Wisconsin Statutes Annotated; Sections 767.10, 767.25, 767.261, 767.265, 767.27, and 767.29].


Divorce Mediation

The court must inform the spouses of the availability of counseling services. Upon request or on the court’s own initiative, the court may order counseling and delay the divorce proceedings for up to 90 days. If custody of a child is a contested issue, mediation is required. If joint custody is requested, mediation may be required. In addition, the court may order parents in any child custody situation to attend an educational program on the effects of divorce on children. [Wisconsin Statutes Annotated; Sections 767.081, 767.082, 767.083, 767.11, and 767.115].

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