Wisconsin Marital Settlement (Divorce) Agreement and Legal Separation

What happens when married people can no longer be together and decide to terminate their relationships officially? According to the law, they need to sign a significant number of papers, including the Wisconsin Marital Settlement Agreement Form. In terms of life, they need to move on and start a brand new life.

This review explores why it is important to fill out the Wisconsin Marital Settlement Agreement Form. This legally binding allows partners to express their suggestions, expectations, and demands regarding their post-divorce life. They can write down the details of the belongings, minor kids’ custody, child care, spousal financial assistance, and other separation necessities they consider essential. Here you can learn more about free Marital Settlement (Divorce) Agreement.

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After the spouses complete the Wisconsin Marital Settlement Agreement, they should sign it to show that they have reached an agreement on everything included therein. By signing the document, they state that they will not have any mutual claims in the future. When filling out the post-marital settlement form, the partners demonstrate what they want their future to look like after divorce.

The list of items partners need to note down in their post-marital agreement includes the following:

  • The parties’ names
  • Separation date
  • Partners’ income and belongings
  • Financial assistance of one of the partners
  • Possible changes in the agreement’s conditions
  • Medical coverage (including health insurance)
  • Family house (and other joint dwelling units)
  • Partners’ mutual obligations
  • Retirement benefits
  • Details about reverting to the maiden names
  • Signatures and effective date
  • Attachment on children support

Wisconsin Divorce and Separation Laws

The divorcing couple can refer to the following laws while preparing for divorce:

  • Subchapter VI of Chapter 767 (covering Maintenance and Support)
  • Subchapter V of Chapter 767 (covering Kids Custody, Placement, and Visitation)
  • Subchapter IV of Chapter 767 (covering Annulment, Divorce, and Legal Separation)

Please ensure you read the local laws and requirements carefully. The paragraphs of the Wisconsin Statutes mentioned above cover the following topics.

Grounds for Divorce (Separation)

By living separately for 12months, partners demonstrate their will to terminate the marriage. However, there are other ways to announce their intention (Section 767.315).

Division of Property

As Wisconsin is a community property state, the courts divide the estate and other partners’ belongings equally between the two partners (§ 767.61). Factors affecting the division of assets are listed in the same document but in paragraph (Section 767.61(3)).

Child Custody and Visitation

If the former spouses have shared minor children, they should agree on the custody matters and visitation schedule. Usually, the court makes the final decision based on various factors. The spouse who is not the legal custodian can still visit and participate in the child’s life and upbringing.

Child Support and Alimony

There are specific factors such as partners’ income and their assets that affect the judge’s decision on the amount of money each partner has to pay. When making a decision, the court orients at the Child Support Percentage Conversion Table (Section 767.511). Nonetheless, there are factors that might change the court’s judgment:

  • Education expenses
  • Kids’ interests
  • Partners’ demands
  • Kids’ financial possibilities
  • The guardian’s presence at home
  • Expenses for traveling
  • Medical costs
  • Parents’ income
  • Quality of life in the marriage
  • Financial support during partners’ physical absence
  • Fees consequences

Each partner can request alimony, and the court can award the alimony or decline the request (§ 767.56). If the court decides to meet the partner’s needs for alimony, it will examine the following factors:

  • Estate’s separation
  • The marriage duration
  • Partner’s educational background
  • Partners’ health conditions
  • Partner’s income and earning capacity
  • Partners’ financial freedom
  • Partners’ mutual consent

Popular Local Marital Settlement Agreement Forms

Even though it is not compulsory to draft a marital settlement agreement, doing this may give you particular perks: a lot more confidence in your post-marital life and significantly less pain in court. Here is a number of this sort of local agreements Googled the most by our readers.

As we already mentioned, living separately for 12 months is a legal basis for separation. That will show the marriage is “irretrievably broken,” so the court can terminate it legally. Partners can also claim their will to separate through a declaration under oath (Section 767.315).

Interim Support and Residency

Going through the separation proceedings can be tough, and sometimes people need to get external support during this period. Either of the partners can request interim support (or temporary maintenance) from the other partner, and this partner has to agree with these requirements if they can. See Section 767.57(1)(a) for more details on this matter.

To ask for separation in Wisconsin, at least one partner must be a county’s resident for at least 30 days and Wisconsin’s resident for at least six months. Otherwise, the couple won’t be able to file for a legal divorce in Wisconsin state (Section 767.301).

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Filing for Divorce in Wisconsin

People do not like paperwork. They dislike spending their time collecting papers in various bureaucratic organizations.

If you’re the type of person who prefers chilling rather than filling boring papers, then our form-building software can be a real savior to you. Note that you cannot get divorced without paying the required fees—$150 per one filing. Although there is another minor issue, you can only be legally divorced in the state not earlier than 120 days after visiting the Circuit Court for the first time. Below are step-by-step instructions on filing for a divorce in Wisconsin.

1. Select the Right Form

There are more than ten divorcing forms in Wisconsin, and you need to choose only one. Unobtrusively, we remind you about our form-building software made specifically for such cases. Below is a comprehensive list of forms you need to fill out if you still want to do it manually. If you have kids, select among these forms:

  • Temporary Order with Minor Children—FA-4126VB
  • Joint Petition with Minor Children—FA-411OV
  • Stipulation for Temporary Order with Minor Children—FA-4126VA

If you do not have shared children, consider selecting among these legal forms:

  • Financial Disclosure Statement—FA-4139V
  • Joint Petition with Minor Children—FA-4111V
  • Temporary Order with Minor Children—FA-4127VB
  • Others.

You also have the option of filling the agreement form online. Just open the government website to use this option.

2. Fill Mutual Petition

Partners considering dissociation need to fill a Confidential Petition Addendum—GF-179, writing down details about their kids there. Moreover, they have to file a Joint Petition with Minor Children—FA-4110V (if they have kids) or a Joint Petition without Minor Children—F4111V (if there are no kids in the family).

3. Fill out a Stipulation for Temporary Order

To show the court that partners reached an agreement on such essential separation processes as temporary custody and kids support, they should fill out a Stipulation for Temporary Order with Minor Children—FA-4126VA or a Stipulation for Temporary Order without Minor Children—FA-4127VA.  Remember that you can complete the forms on the government website via an automated interview.

4. Complete Additional Legal Papers

This step of the separation process requires partners to visit the Circuit Court. A registrar of the court will assist them in filling the Confidential Petition Addendum—GF-179, the Joint Petition (the one with no kids and the one with kids), the Stipulation for the Temporary Order (with and without kids), a Temporary Order with Minor Children— A-4126VB, or a Temporary Order without Minor Children—FA-4127VB.

In addition to completing these legal papers’, partners need to pay a tax.

5. Prepare a Parenting Plan

Partners in Wisconsin need to show the court they’re ready to watch out for their kids after separation. Thus, they should attend specific classes where they learn to nurture positive health relations with kids in the post-divorce period.

In addition to that, partners need to prepare a Proposed Parenting Plan—FA-4147V to describe how they will support the kids both financially and morally.

6. Apply for a Final Court

Partners should ask a Circuit Court Registrar about the procedure of requesting a final court. Sometimes partners are the ones initiating the final hearing proceedings. Other times, the court schedules a hearing. It’s essential to know the final hearing date and time in advance.

Regardless of the option offered to the partners, they need to wait for about 120 days until their final hearing request transforms into a final hearing.

7. Fill In the Remaining Legal Papers

The period of 120 days is given to the partners with a purpose. During these four months, they have to complete the remaining documents required for the separation termination. The list of these papers include:

  • Vital Statistics Form. The couple can get one at a Registrar Circuit Court office.
  • Marital Settlement Agreement (with or without kids option). By signing one, partners show they reached an agreement on divorce conditions that will be later presented in the final court.
  • Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Judgment (without or with kids possibility). The judge fills the document and states the final judgment there.
  • Financial Disclosure Statement—FA-4139V. Partners complete the paper to show their earnings and the possibility of supporting their kids financially.

8. Join the Final Court Hearing

Partners are expected to visit the hearing together. The absence of one of them will significantly mess the separation proceedings.

In the final court, the judge will examine all the separation documents and the facts stated there. After that, they will give the final judgment. If the judge decides the court needs additional documents, the partners have to sign them and deliver them to the court.

9. Return the Pre-Marriage Name

Filling of the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Judgment allows partners to get back their maiden names legitimately. It’s enough to file the document, sign it, and provide it while updating their ID and accounts.

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Published: Jul 28, 2022