Bill Aimed At Ending Wisconsin’s Remarriage Waiting Period After Divorce Fails to Pass
Mandatory six-month waiting period remains in effect for divorced persons ready to remarry in the state of Wisconsin
It’s not uncommon for individuals to meet a new spouse while in the process of a divorce from a prior spouse because of the amount of time finalizing the divorce process takes. But in the state of Wisconsin, individuals who are recently divorced and want to remarry must wait a minimum of 6 months from the date of the final judgment on their divorce before they can marry again. Recent legislation attempted to remove this mandatory waiting period for recently divorced individuals.
If you are contemplating divorce, or have recently filed for divorce without representation, contact Wisconsin’s compassionate family law divorce attorneys at Bandle & Zaeske, LLP to provide you with the skilled guidance you need to aide you through every aspect of the divorce process including child custody, child support, and spousal support. We have a well-established reputation for protecting the best interests of our clients throughout the divorce process.
Wisconsin’s mandatory remarriage waiting period
The state of Wisconsin is one of only six states which still have a mandatory waiting period for remarriage after a divorce is finalized. Of the six states with a mandatory remarriage waiting period, Kansas and Texas require a period of only 30 days, Alabama requires a period of only 60 days, but Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin require a minimum of 6 months. This mandatory remarriage waiting period is in addition to the minimum 4-month period required to obtain a divorce judgment in the state of Wisconsin, although many divorces take much longer to finalize.
Wisconsin’s current law requiring the mandatory waiting period for remarriage was originally enacted in 1911 and was modified in 1977. The mandatory waiting period for marriage after a divorce judgment has been issued is designed to allow time for either party of the divorce action to appeal the judgment if they do not agree, although removing the mandatory waiting period would not affect a person’s right to appeal a divorce judgment if they do not agree with it.
Proposed bill AB 521 fails
Last year, proposed legislation bill AB 521 was introduced to the state legislature by Representative Cindi Duchow, who authored the bill, and was also sponsored by ten other state Representatives. The legislation was initially approved by the Wisconsin Assembly in November 2017 and moved on to the Wisconsin state Senate, where it failed to gain approval in March 2018. Proposed bill AB 521 sought to end Wisconsin’s six-month mandatory waiting period for a recently divorced individual to remarry. This means individuals who have recently divorced and are ready to get on with their life and remarry will continue to have to wait a minimum of six months from the date their divorce is finalized to marry again, unless it is the divorced couple choosing to remarry.
Proponents of the bill believe the mandatory remarriage waiting period unreasonably punished individuals who had not broken any law by forcing them to wait to remarry rather than to make the decision for themselves. Opponents of the bill believe the mandatory remarriage waiting period discourages divorce by ensuring couples are in a clear mind and have had a reasonable cooling off period post-divorce before choosing to remarry.
Experienced Wisconsin family law attorneys provide guidance in complicated divorce matters
At the law firm of Bandle & Zaeske, LLP, our skilled attorneys know divorce can be complicated, emotional, and stressful for all parties involved. Our Wisconsin family lawyers have the experience you need in all areas of family law and divorce matters to provide reliable and knowledgeable guidance throughout each phase of the divorce process. Our office is conveniently located in Milwaukee. Call us at 414-359-1424 or contact us online to schedule your confidential consultation with a member of our team.