Grounds for Divorce

Milwaukee Wisconsin Divorce Attorneys

What are the grounds for divorce in Wisconsin?

Every state has different grounds for divorce. Some states allow fault-based grounds, such as adultery, physical abuse, or abandonment. Other states do not have fault-based grounds for divorce and simply allow for “no-fault” divorces. And, of course, some states allow both fault and no-fault divorces. Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state. At Bandle & Zaeske, LLP, our Wisconsin divorce attorneys are experienced in all aspects of divorce claims and work hard to achieve favorable results for you.

No-fault divorces: The basics

Wisconsin recognizes two grounds for divorce:

  • The marriage is irretrievably broken, or
  • Both parties assert the marital relationship has broken down.

These grounds do not assert any specific wrongdoing on the part of either spouse. Instead, the parties recognize that the marriage cannot be repaired and that the only reasonable solution is to seek a divorce.

Wisconsin family courts may find that divorce is appropriate if the parties have sworn under oath (or have admitted in their court documents) that the marriage is irretrievably broken. The courts may also grant a divorce if the parties have lived separately for at least one year prior to filing for divorce. If the parties have lived separate and apart for one year, one of the parties must state that the marriage is irretrievably broken as well.

However, if the parties have not lived separate and apart for one year prior to filing for divorce, and only one party has stated that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court must take a deeper look at the marriage prior to granting a divorce. The court will examine why the parties are seeking a divorce and whether there is any hope in reconciling the parties.

If it is determined that the parties will not be able to reconcile, the court will note that the marriage is irretrievably broken. However, if reconciliation is reasonably possible, the case will be continued (delayed until a later date). A subsequent hearing will be scheduled between 30 and 60 days after the initial proceeding.

What if one spouse is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage?

If your spouse:

  • Committed adultery;
  • Abused drugs;
  • Drank excessively;
  • Committed physical, emotional, or verbal abuse; or
  • Acted in such other ways that contributed to the breakdown of the marriage;

It is understandable that you would like to inform the court of these issues. Although Wisconsin will not grant a divorce based on the wrongful actions of a spouse, these actions may be considered when making decisions about child custody, child placement, spousal support, and other issues. Because proving fault in a fault-based divorce can be very time-consuming, stressful, and expensive, many states, including Wisconsin, have decided that the no-fault route is a better alternative.

Contact our experienced Milwaukee Wisconsin divorce lawyers today to initiate your divorce proceedings

At Bandle & Zaeske, we understand divorce is a painful experience, even when it is the best decision for you and your family. Schedule a free consultation with our attorneys today to discuss your legal options. Call 414-359-1424 or contact us online.

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