September 23, 2019

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Wisconsin Family Law

Milwaukee Family Law Firms

Family law is one of the many areas of law that is very different from state to state. If you are considering marriage or divorce, in Wisconsin, or if you are planning to move to Wisconsin, please learn more about Wisconsin family law and how it will affect you and those you love.

Family Law Matters

Topics which fall under family law include:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Grandparent’s rights
  • Elder law
  • Estate planning
  • Children’s rights
  • Emancipation
  • Adoption
  • Guardianship
  • Domestic violence
  • Paternity
  • Juvenile law

Getting Married in Wisconsin

To get married in Wisconsin, you must first apply for a marriage license. The bride and groom must appear together to apply. The application must be made at least seven days and no more than 30 days before the wedding is to take place.

If you were previously married, you must wait at least six months after the date that your divorce became final to apply for your marriage license.

You must be able to speak English or bring your own interpreter when you apply for a marriage license. Your intended spouse cannot act as your interpreter.

You must be at least 16 years old to get married in Wisconsin, and if you are under 18 you must have written consent from both of your parents.

No Common Law Marriage in Wisconsin

Wisconsin does not recognize common law marriage. It does not matter how long you have lived together, whether you have presented yourselves as married, or if you have children.

That means you cannot end the relationship through divorce proceedings. Child custody and support are still addressed through the courts. If property division is an issue, you must rely on contract law and the law of unjust enrichment and partition of property.

Wisconsin Divorce

Wisconsin is a no-fault state with the only grounds for divorce being the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

There is a four month cooling off period, from the date that the divorce papers are served. Beyond that, neither spouse can delay the proceedings unless the other spouse consents. If both spouses agree to try to reconcile, the proceedings can be put on hold for 90 days.

Property division, child custody, child support, and alimony are addressed in divorce proceedings.

Legal Separation

Legal separation addresses the same issues as divorce, but in the end you are still legally married. This means you are not free to remarry, but you also retain some of the legal benefits of being married including racking up time toward the 10 years required for certain Social Security benefits.