Law

Wisconsin divorce: Contested vs. uncontested 

It’s not easy to end a marriage. Regardless of how long you have been married, filing for divorce can take a toll on your mental health and emotional wellbeing. Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state. This basically means that the couple can together state that the marriage is over (called irretrievably broken), and there is no room or hope for reconciliation. You can click here to find a reliable divorce lawyer for your case to understand the grounds better. In this post, we are discussing more about contested and uncontested divorces.

Understanding uncontested divorce

If you and your spouse agree on the major issues of the divorce, you can together file a “Joint Petition for Divorce”. To file for divorce in the state, either of you must be a state resident for at least six months. Also, one or both spouses must have lived in the county for a minimum of 30 days from where the divorce is being filed. After you and your spouse pay the filing fee, the court will set a date for a final hearing after 120 days. This is the least time you need to get divorced in Wisconsin. There are many advantages of an uncontested divorce, but most importantly, you can expect to pay less for the lawyer’s work. 

Understanding default divorce

Either spouse can initiate the proceedings, and it would be an uncontested divorce if the other side agrees to key things in the petition. Once you file for divorce and serve the papers to your spouse, they have 20 days to respond from the date of service. If they ignore the divorce papers or do not respond, the court will grant you a default divorce. 

Understanding contested divorce 

If you filed for divorce and your spouse files a “Response and Counterclaim” where they disagree with points in your petition, it would be a contested divorce. Typically, contested divorces involve issues like property & debt distribution, child custody, child support, and spousal support, which can take considerable time to resolve. If yours is a contested divorce, you will have to attend a pre-trial hearing, where the judge may pass interim orders until the final hearing. Depending on how quickly you and your spouse agree on key things, a contested divorce may take months or even years.  

No matter what situation you are in, you need to talk to an experienced lawyer and get their advice on how you can sort things out sooner. 

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