If You Were Served, Call Divergent Family Law Immediately for Advice
After being served with divorce pleadings, our offices will review them with you in a free initial consultation. If you choose to retain us, we can then move forward to prepare an Admission of Service and Response, as well as a Counterclaim on your behalf. You have 20 days from the date you were served to file a written Admission of Service, a Response, and a Counterclaim. Failing to do so can leave you open to the possibility of the court entering a default judgment against you.
Does it matter who physically serves me the divorce pleadings?
You can be served in two ways: in person or in the mail. Personal delivery must be done using one of the following methods;
- Admission of Service– a form confirming you received a copy of the divorce pleadings.
- Service by the Sheriff’s Department
- Service by the Private Process Server
- Service by someone who is over 18, a resident of Wisconsin and is not a party to the action
- As a last resort, they can complete service by Publication. They MUST show that they have attempted one of the four methods above before resorting to publication. Usually, the court must approve this method first.
How to Avoid a Default Divorce Trial Hearing
If you fail to answer with an Admission of Service, Response, and Counterclaim in 20 days, your spouse can appear in court and ask a judge for a final hearing on all the divorce orders without you being able to participate in the proceedings.
Can I be served if I have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement?
If you and your spouse have a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, you still can be served with divorce pleadings. These agreements aren’t immune to being thrown out in court or ignored if the case goes to trial.
When Should I Respond?
You only have 20 days to respond after being served. This puts you at a huge disadvantage as your spouse had 90 days to prepare. Time is of the essence - Divergent Family Law attorneys can catch you up before your case proceeds.
What are temporary orders?
During divorce cases, temporary orders are necessary to determine where each spouse will live, when each will see the children, and how they will be financially supported and pay bills during the separation process. Temporary orders are court orders that can be decided by the court in a hearing, or by an agreement between the two spouses in the form of a temporary stipulation that can be negotiated and filed with the help of your attorneys. The stipulated orders are processed without having to appear in court. Once filed, they will carry the same legal protections as a hearing. Temporary orders can remain in effect until the completion of your divorce case.
It is crucial to have an experienced lawyer on your side when temporary orders are discussed. Temporary orders are often considered when final hearing decisions are decided.
120 Days for mediation
The 120 day waiting period required by the State of Wisconsin before a divorce can be granted is designed to allow for mediation between you and your soon-to-be-former spouse. The goal is to cover child custody, division of assets, and other changes without having to go to trial.
120 days may seem like a lot of time now, but all the back and forth can eat up valuable time. With Divergent family Law, you’ll have the professional assistance you need to keep the process moving.
Are all divorce cases settled by the court?
Most Wisconsin divorce cases are resolved outside of the courtroom through attorney-assisted mediation and settlement agreements. Our experienced divorce attorneys will help you and your spouse come to mutual agreements regarding finances, cohabitation, child support and more.
What if a settlement can’t be reached?
A divorce trial is only necessary when you and your spouse cannot reach a settlement agreement through lawyer-led mediation. While rare, going to trial for divorce can take weeks or even months to reach a final decision. The more issues unresolved from mediation; the longer the trial will take.
Divergent Family Law Represents You
The experienced attorneys at Divergent Family Law will help you navigate Wisconsin’s legal system after you’re served. Divergent Family Law has helped Wisconsin couples separate as amicably as possible. We work with:
- Filing a petition
- Serving Papers
- Temporary orders
- Child custody and placement
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Courtroom trial