Divorce Trial in Wisconsin – Common Issues faced by the Couple

Marriages are made in heaven and maybe divorces too. The decision of getting separated is heartbreaking. There are many reasons which finally lead the couple to separate their ways and live like unknowns again. Some divorces go smooth, with no hard feelings and everything being sorted out. Whilst there are others which are a complete mental trauma.

Wisconsin is tagged as a place for happy marriages, though. According to the 24/7 Wall St. study, it has been badged with the 9th rank amongst the states with lowest divorce rates. There is 14:1000 ratio of divorces over marriages. This is good news.

But still, the process of divorce can be overwhelming with all the procedures of filing case and then participating in the trial to decide over the matter. After filing the Wisconsin divorce papers, the court will schedule a “first hearing,” which is also called a “temporary hearing.”  The major outcome of this hearing is to make a “temporary order.”  A “temporary order” is a legit court order, addressing the financial and child custody issues, even though the final divorce is still awaited. An experienced Appleton divorce lawyer must be hired to represent your best side in the “first hearing”. This would help in easy settlements and quick decisions. However, certain issues are nearly inevitable while contesting for a divorce.

  • Timeline to finalize a divorce

The divorce can be uncontested (both spouses agree) or contested. In any case, there is a mandatory minimum wait of 120 days. For uncontested case, the days are counted from the date of filing the original divorce petition while for contested ones, the counting starts from the date both parties have received the notice that their divorce is pending. This wait can be stressful. Most divorces are wrapped up within 6 to 12 months period unless there are no bitter disagreements related to property, alimony and child custody.

  • Non-agreement on child custody

This is the most sensitive issue during divorce hearings. The court has to decide over the child/children custody (Joint or Sole) and the placement for how the child’s time is divided among parents (primary or secondary placement). There can be dubious arguments over this issue, in which case the court can order both the parties to go for mediation. It is a way where both parents try to come with a mutual settlement under the supervision of a neutral mediator or counselor. In case, mediation does not produce successful results, the child is represented by an attorney, who is called Guardian ad Litem, who will investigate and present every aspect to represent the child’s best interest.

  • Questions about the future

Even though many issues in the present scenario can be decided, there are few concerns of the future, which the couple might look into, before accepting the final judgment over divorce

  1. Will husband be liable to pay his spouse’s debt in case she files for bankruptcy after they get divorced?
  2. Will husband have to pay for home mortgage payment in the scenario where the spouse gets to keep the house in the divorce but then she can’t refinance it?
  3. Is there any chance that the spouse could take the husband back to the court for more maintenance if he earns a lot more money in the future?

 The answer to all these questions is yes.  Ask your attorney to consider these in your marital settlement agreement for better solutions.

  • Denial of divorce

In the absence of full compliance with the court’s rules and insufficient evidence to support your ground over which the case is based, the court can deny granting the divorce. The denial can be because of the following:

  • Unable to prove fault grounds – when the case is based on grounds over martial misconduct, adultery, cruelty or abandonment and the evidence failed to prove these charges.
  • Procedural dismissal – any error in the procedure in filing the divorce case or related aspect such as the failure to comply with state’s minimum requirement of filing the divorce case, leads to denial of divorce until the issue is fixed and the case is refiled.

The dismissal is “without prejudice” which means the current case is terminated but you can, of course, file the fresh one.

It is always better to revert the decision of getting divorced. The 120-day rule was formed with this intention, to give some time for the possibility of the change of minds.

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