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:: Divorce

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Divorce

 

For standard, statewide forms required by all Wisconsin circuit courts for civil, criminal, family, guardianship, juvenile, mental commitment, probate, and small claims cases, click here.

 

Residency Requirements:

  • You must have lived in the State of Wisconsin for six (6) months or more.
  • You must have lived in the County of filing for thirty (30) days or more.

Filing fees:

  • $194.50, If you have children or are requesting maintenance.
  • $184.50, If there are no children and maintenance is not being requested.

Pleadings needed to begin the action:

  • Joint Petition – If both parties want the divorce and wish to sign the papers.
  • Summons and Petition – If only one person is filing for divorce.

Copies needed:

  • 3 to 5 copies may be needed depending on your circumstances.
  • Each of the parties should receive a copy of all paperwork filed for their records.
  • If you serve through sheriff or private process, they require 2 copies.
  • If public assistance is being received, the local Child Support Agency needs to be served.

Certificate of  Divorce:

  • Per local court rules on divorce a certificate must be filled out and filed with each new action for divorce or annulment , along with your Summons and Petition or Joint Petition.
  • The certificate must be completed in black ink and be typed or legibly printed.
  • Numbers can not be used to indicate dates. The month must be spelled out or abbreviated and the year is to be complete. Example:  05-05-03/May 05, 2003.
  • No erasures or white out can be used on the form.
  • Only original forms from the Clerk of Court Office may be used.

Service:

  • An authenticated copy (a copy which has been filed, stamped, and signatures confirmed) of the papers will need to be served on the Respondent.
  • If the respondent will voluntarily accept service and sign an Admission of Service before a notary, it will not be necessary to serve through Private Process or Sheriff's Department.
  • If service will be provided through Private Process or the Sheriff's Department, it is your responsibility to arrange such service. The service must take place within the state and county in which the respondent resides.
  • If either you or the respondent is receiving public assistance (AFDC or MA), you will need to serve the Child Support Agency with a copy of the paperwork, have them sign an Admission of Service, and then file it with the Clerk of Court office.

Order to Show Cause:

  • To obtain a date and time for a Temporary Hearing you must call the Court Commissioner's office at (715) 839-6029 and speak with his Judicial Assistant.
  • Insert the date and time information into your Order to Show Cause paperwork.
  • Take the paperwork to the Clerk of Court office where the clerk will affix the court commissioner's signature.
  • Make 3-5 copies depending on copies needed for service and if the Child Support Agency is involved.
  • Have the Clerk file stamp the original and your copies.

Divorce/Legal Separation paperwork:

  • If filing for Legal Separation, change the class code to 40201.
  • It is suggested that the parties have filed one week prior to the final, stipulated divorce hearing: financial declarations of husband and wife, marital settlement agreement signed by both parties, and Waiver of Appearance signed before a notary and by any party who is unable to attend the final divorce hearing. (At least one party must attend.)
  • In some circumstances the court may allow telephone appearances. Contact the Court's Judicial Secretary at (715) 839-6029 to request.

Court Date:
UNCONTESTED DIVORCE HEARING
If you have reached an agreement on all of the issues in your divorce/annulment action, you may call the Court Commissioner's Judicial Assistant to schedule a date for final hearing. The date must be scheduled after 120 days from the date you served the respondent with the Summons and Petition or Joint Petition.

  • If one of the parties to the action cannot appear, you must have him\her sign a Waiver of Appearance, before a notary, showing the date and time of the final hearing.

  • OR have the party who is unable to appear served with a Notice of Hearing through the Sheriff's Department or Private Process Server.

  • The signed Admission or Affidavit must be filed with the Clerk of Court prior to the final hearing date.            

CONTESTED DIVORCE HEARING
If, after 120 days, the parties have failed to resolve all of the issues of the divorce/legal separation, fill out the form, Request for Status Conference, sign and date the form, file it with the Clerk of Courts, and send a copy to your spouse.

  • The clerk will notify the court to schedule your matter.
  • The court will notify you of the date and time scheduled for status conference by mail.
  • If no agreement has been reached between the parties on the issue of custody and physical placement, fill out the form Request for Mediation and file it with the Clerk of Courts. Mediation will contact you with a date and time for the Mediation to take place.
  • If mediation fails to produce a signed parenting agreement, you can request the appointment of a guardian ad litem, which is an attorney who would then report to the court on what is in the best interest of the minor child. There is usually a $500 retainer required to be paid by each party before the appointment, or you may petition the court for a waiver based upon your level of income.   

Final Divorce Hearing:
UNCONTESTED

  • Bring the original (FFCLJ) Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Judgment that you have completely filled out.
  • Bring 2 copies of the FFCLJ.
  • Bring 2 copies of the Marital Settlement Agreement which you have previously filed.

CONTESTED

  • Bring your proposed Marital Settlement Agreement that has been filled out by you, as to how you would like to see the divorce terms rendered by the court.
  • Bring any paperwork the court designated you to bring in pursuant to the scheduling order such as up-dated financial declarations, income tax returns, appraisals, etc. If asked to complete a Parenting Agreement, this document may be obtained in the Clerk of Court office.
  • Bring a notebook and pen and be prepared to take notes as you may be asked to complete the final paperwork, filling in the court's oral decision from the hearing.
  • Bring the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Judgment.

For more information regarding procedures, call the Clerk of Court office at 715-839-4816/4819 and ask to speak to a Family Clerk. Or call the Court Commissioner's Judicial Assistant at 715-839-6029.