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Madison, WI Family Law Office


Not only is Tom an attorney he has the knowledge of a lawyer and instructor as well and that makes him twice the lawyer another could stand and argue with! Great webinars that answer all your questions or refresh something you may have forgotten. In a time of need his guidance will gladly be help not greed!

Shane B.

Absolutely incredible. Helpful and reassuring. Listened to my case details, took notes, guided me through what to expect. Set me up for success. Gave me reasonable payment plans if I ever needed their help. I will definitely recommend to anyone, and will call on them again if needed they seem like an amazing group of people. The gentleman I spoke with was attorney Corey A. Montiho.

Tyler E.

Madison’s Trusted Divorce Lawyers

Our growing team of family law attorneys has the education, knowledge, and field experience to help you painlessly navigate the Wisconsin divorce process. Our law firm consists of some of the state’s top family law attorneys, including one of the top 100 trial lawyers in Wisconsin appointed by the National Trial Lawyers Association.

Our Madison divorce attorneys make sure your divorce experience is as painless as possible while achieving the outcome you hoped for. Our lawyers work closely with you throughout the legal process and make sure you’re aware and okay with every move we make. While most divorces we work with are finalized outside of the courtroom, our attorneys have experience with trial divorces and know how to appeal a ruling if it comes down to it successfully.

The cost of hiring a divorce attorney at Divergent Family Law will never be a surprise. Our Madison office is upfront and transparent about how much our legal services will cost. Our divorce clients never have to worry about hidden costs or fees because they don’t exist.

If you’re looking for a strong, reliable family law attorney to help guide you through the divorce process, contact the divorce lawyers at our Madison family law office today.

Steps to Divorce in Madison, WI

Step 1

Contact us & schedule

Contact us through our online contact form or give us a call to schedule your first appointment.

Step 2

Attend your free consultation

Discuss your divorce case and get answers to any questions you may have.

Step 3

Work with our family and divorce lawyers

Work with and get help from our team of divorce lawyers at every stage of the divorce process.

Step 4

Divorce mediation or court hearing

Work with a mediator for a collaborative approach towards your divorce or choose to go through the formal process in court.

Step 5

Finalize divorce

Complete the mandatory waiting period and participate in the final court hearing where the court will assess the divorce records and issue a conclusive judgment.

Choosing the Divorce Option That’s Right For You

The choice of which legal option to pursue after you file a divorce petition depends on the specific circumstances of the case and the willingness of the parties involved to cooperate and reach an agreement.

Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is a collaborative divorce process where both spouses reach an agreement on all relevant issues without involving the court. This includes the division of assets, child custody, spousal support, and other matters related to ending the marriage. Due to mutual agreement, it is typically faster, more cost-effective, and less emotionally draining than a contested divorce.

Contested Divorce

Conversely, a contested divorce occurs when spouses fail to reach an agreement on critical issues related to their divorce. Disagreements may revolve around property division, child custody, alimony, or other essential aspects of the divorce settlement. In contested divorces, the case may proceed to court, where a judge adjudicates unresolved matters after considering evidence and arguments from both parties. Contested divorces are often lengthier, more expensive, and emotionally taxing compared to uncontested divorces.

Mediated Divorce

A mediated divorce involves the assistance of a neutral third party, known as a mediator, who helps spouses come to an agreement. The mediator facilitates communication and negotiation, guiding them in disputes to find mutually acceptable solutions. Mediation is a more cooperative alternative to contested divorces, allowing for personalized and flexible solutions that cater to the specific needs and preferences of the spouses. While divorce mediation doesn't replace legal guidance, it can mitigate conflict and streamline the divorce process, making it a suitable option for couples seeking a more amicable resolution.


An annulment is a legal process that invalidates a marriage, declaring it null and void from the very beginning as if it never happened. A divorce concludes a valid marriage while an annulment claims that the marriage was never valid. Reasons for seeking annulment include fraud, bigamy, lack of consummation, or incapacity. The main goal is to legally void the marriage, freeing both parties from the responsibilities and status of a valid marital union. It's crucial to recognize that the criteria and procedures for obtaining an annulment can vary widely depending on the jurisdiction.

Factors That May Affect Your Divorce

  • The length of your marriage
  • Whether or not you and your spouse have children or own property/real estate together
  • The existence of jointly owned assets and/or debts
  • If there is a significant difference or variability in your incomes
  • The ownership of a business or self-employment status
  • The employment status of one or both individuals
  • Domestic violence, substance abuse or incarceration is/has been present

Family Law Services in Madison

We offer support and legal guidance in Madison for:

Child Custody

According to Wisconsin statutes, legal custody of a child is the authority to make significant decisions regarding the child's healthcare and education. Legal custody is separate from physical custody.

The actual time spent with each parent is commonly known as "physical placement" in Wisconsin. In a divorce, a couple may opt for joint legal and physical custody or may individually pursue sole custody. In most cases, courts believe joint child custody involving both parents is in the best interest of the child.

Placement modification can happen if changing the legal arrangements for a child's residence and care is needed. This may include adjusting living situations or visitation schedules due to factors like changes in parents' circumstances or the child's best interests. It's crucial to follow legal procedures and present compelling reasons for the modification.

Child Support

Child support is not a one-size-fits-all arrangement; rather, it varies significantly from case to case. In Wisconsin, the state utilizes a set of guidelines to establish the suitable amount of child support that a noncustodial parent must contribute. These guidelines consider multiple factors, including the income of both parents, the number of children, and any extra expenses associated with the child's healthcare, education, or special requirements. If there are special circumstances or unique needs within a particular case such as significant medical expenses or educational requirements, the court may adjust the child support amount accordingly.

Use our free Wisconsin child support calculator for primary or shared placement schedules to estimate your monthly Wisconsin child support payments.

Divorce Mediation

Divorce mediation is a preferred method for many couples seeking a friendly resolution. It allows them to collaboratively address sensitive issues like property division and child placement, saving time, money, and stress by avoiding a lengthy court trial. Mediation facilitates co-parenting decisions, prioritizing the well-being of children and often leading to a more amicable post-divorce relationship through open communication and mutual understanding. Dissatisfied individuals can explore divorce appeal options if needed.


Paternity pertains to the legal acknowledgment of a man as the father of a child. The process of establishing paternity typically entails confirming the biological connection between a father and child, commonly achieved through genetic testing. This legal recognition holds significance for parental rights, duties, and financial commitments.

High Net Worth

Our Madison-based divorce attorneys specialize in cases involving high net worth individuals, individuals characterized by substantial financial assets and intricate financial portfolios. Legal challenges in areas such as divorce become unique for these individuals. The complexities of dividing significant assets, managing investments, and addressing intricate financial structures necessitate specialized expertise to ensure a fair and equitable resolution. Attorneys with experience in high net worth cases are adept at navigating the intricacies associated with substantial wealth, business ownership, and diverse financial holdings.

Given the broader range of assets typically owned by wealthier couples, their divorces tend to involve more extensive legal considerations. While the division of a simple bank account, retirement fund, or a single-family home may touch upon only one or two sections of the divorce code, the dissolution of trusts, international holdings, and multiple real estate properties can encompass almost every facet of the law. The challenges intensify when dealing with the intricate legal issues surrounding third-party entities such as businesses and charitable organizations.

We also specialize in the complex domain of alimony. Spousal maintenance, commonly known as alimony, involves one spouse's obligation to make payments to the other after the divorce is concluded. Our approach involves evaluating the financial needs and capacities of both spouses, aiming to establish a support arrangement that is both fair and sustainable. Additionally, the presence of a prenuptial agreement, also known as a “prenup,” may impact the manner in which spousal support is determined.

Explore our free alimony calculator to determine your spousal support payments in Wisconsin.


Our experienced legal team possesses a profound understanding of the unique challenges and complexities often associated with military divorces in Madison. We acknowledge the significant impact that deployments can have on both family dynamics and divorce proceedings, and we are well-prepared to address these factors with sensitivity and effectiveness. Additionally, our team has a high level of expertise in military benefits and the intricate regulations governing their distribution in divorce cases, ensuring that service members and their families receive the entitled benefits. We also provide assistance with pro se divorce for military personnel.

In military divorces, jurisdictional issues can be particularly intricate, given the possibility of spouses residing in different locations or states. Our team is well-equipped to navigate these jurisdictional complexities, ensuring that legal proceedings take place in the most advantageous and appropriate venue for our clients. With our dedicated and experienced team by your side, you can anticipate a divorce process that is not only fair and equitable but also supportive of service members and their families during what can be a challenging period in their lives.

Flexible Divorce Payment Plans for Madison Families

Explore the benefits of selecting Divergent Family Law as your top choice in Wisconsin to safeguard your property, income, and children's rights. We stand out as the top choice with our extensive experience and adaptable payment plans. Learn more about divorce costs and the process timeline not only in Madison but also in other Wisconsin communities such as Milwaukee, Glendale, Appleton and Brookfield.

Use our divorce cost calculator to determine how much your divorce would cost.

Madison Free Divorce Seminars

Divergent Family Law of Madison invites you to attend one of our free, educational divorce seminars. Learn about the Wisconsin divorce process, the best way to navigate common divorce issues, and ask our divorce attorneys any questions you have. Learn more.

What’s Next?

Contact our Madison divorce lawyers by phone or use our contact form to get started with a free consultation. Whether you’re looking for help with alimony and child support calculations, divorce records, or property division guidance, Divergent Family Law is your comprehensive resource for all your family law needs.

Madison Divorce FAQ

I've been served divorce papers. Now what?

If you’ve been served divorce papers, you have two options. If you choose to ignore the papers, then your divorce will proceed by default, and your spouse will likely be granted any requests made concerning alimony, child custody, child support, asset division, etc. What you should do is find a qualified divorce attorney to advocate for your rights and take action to protect your assets.

How do I file for divorce in Wisconsin?

In order to file for divorce in Wisconsin, you need to have lived in the state for at least 6 months and the county you’ll be filing in for at least 30 days. If you file alone, complete the necessary forms (online in the Wisconsin Court System) to serve your spouse with the divorce papers.

What is a temporary order hearing?

The first court appearance in the divorce process meant to provide temporary solutions for important issues a couple can’t agree on, such as child support, child custody, child placement, alimony, asset division and any other issues. Temporary orders only last until the divorce is finalized but may become permanent if they work well for both parties.

What happens in a divorce trial?

A judge will make decisions based on evidence presented by both parties about issues such as child custody and support, spousal maintenance, property division, etc. that the divorcing couple can’t agree on. Once the trial is over, the terms of the divorce are finalized, and both parties must adhere to them or face legal consequences.

What is a divorce settlement agreement?

A divorce settlement agreement outlines the terms of your divorce, including child custody and support, alimony, debt and asset division and more. Both parties must agree on the terms in the settlement agreement before it’s finalized. A Divergent lawyer can help you negotiate an agreement with your spouse if your divorce is contested.

Can you appeal a divorce settlement?

If you’re unsatisfied with a divorce decree, you can appeal with the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Appealing a divorce ruling can be costly and challenging, but with a Divergent attorney's ability to detect errors in the original trial, you can succeed in appealing your divorce decree.

How long does a divorce take in Wisconsin?

Once you file for divorce and papers are served, there is a 120 day waiting period until the divorce hearing for finalization. A standard divorce in Wisconsin typically takes 6-12 months if there are no contested issues.

How much does a divorce cost in Wisconsin?

Depending on your circumstances and whether the divorce is uncontested or contested, costs can range from $1,500 to $40,000. If you're dealing with a high-conflict divorce, don't worry. At Divergent, we charge a flat fee for our services.

How much does divorce mediation cost?

Divorce mediation usually costs between $3,000 and $8,000, making it much cheaper than a traditional divorce. Many mediators charge a flat rate, including Divergent Family Law, which is typically around $4,000 to $5,500.

How much does child support cost in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, child support payments are calculated based on the parent’s income and what percentage placement the parent has with the child (determined by days spent with each parent throughout the year).




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