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What Should I Do After Being Served WIsconsin Divorce Papers?

In order to obtain a divorce in Wisconsin, the divorce itself does not have to be agreed upon by both parties. Wisconsin is a no-fault state, which means a Court can grant a divorce with a finding that the marriage is irretrievably broken. After you have been served, the timer starts for you. Once you have the divorce paperwork, you have 20 days to provide a written response and counterclaim to the Court and opposing party.

  1. Review the Paperwork with a Lawyer

    Read the divorce papers carefully to understand the specific allegations against you. Note the requests made in the divorce complaint.

  2. File a Response or "Answer"

    You must file a response within 20 days of being served in Wisconsin. The answer is a written document addressing the allegations made in the complaint.

Your Answer Will Include:

Common Mistakes People Make on Divorce Papers

Family Law in Wisconsin

A divorce is very heavy with paperwork. It can be very tedious and sometimes even tricky to fill out. Not having a legal background can make it all that much harder, not knowing the legal consequences the paperwork may have. It is very common that people make mistakes that cause the divorce process to drag out or even simply not be filed properly. That’s why we recommend you use one of our skilled divorce lawyers to guide you through the process.

Name Inconsistencies

Using the correct name on your paperwork may seem like a mistake that just would not happen, but divorce documents can be rejected or required to amend if there the names are not consistent on each of the many documents. For example, on one document you may use first, middle, and last name but the next document, you only use the middle initial. It is very important to keep consistent with names on each document to avoid any mishaps.

Failing to Disclose All Assets and Debts

In Wisconsin, parties must disclose all of their assets, debts, and liabilities. If things are left out, this can leave exposure to the case being reopened after the divorce is finalized or being responsible for debt that you didn’t list as martial.

Using Wrong Address

Using updated addresses on the paperwork is very important. If you list the marital residence but you are not currently living there, all the paperwork will be sent to your spouse, not you. If you move out mid-divorce, be sure to write a letter to the court updating your address to ensure you keep up to date on all the court documents.

Untimely Failing

If you have been served divorce papers, you only have 20 days to file a counterclaim against the party. While this is not required, it does help secure certain rights that you may have in the divorce process. Pay attention to deadlines and don’t miss them!

Check the Wrong Box

When using the state forms, there are a number of different boxes that you will have to check on the paperwork. If one is not paying close enough attention, the wrong box could be checked. If that occurs, you may be potentially waiving your right to something or checking something that will cause the divorce to be rejected.

Filing for divorce and filing out the paperwork can be time intensive and stressful, especially during this hard point in your life. One way to resolve that stress is to hire one of our experienced family law attorneys. An attorney can help you navigate through the divorce process and take the stress off your shoulders and know it is getting done right.

Schedule a consultation with a family lawyer from Divergent Family Law today.

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 Men, Women, Military members and spouses, and High Net Worth cases.

Divorce in Wisconsin
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Being Served FAQ's

Does it matter who physically servers me the divorce pleadings?

How do I avoid a default divorce trial hearing?

Can I be served if I have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement?

When should I respond?

What are temporary orders?

120 days for mediation

Are all divorce cases settled by court?

What if a settlement can't be reached?

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