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Appleton, WI Family Law Office

Appleton Divorce Attorneys

We’re located just off of College Ave, near the airport.

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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.

Why Choose Divergent Family Law in Appleton, WI

We are Appleton's most trusted family law firm. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help you navigate Wisconsin's divorce and annulment processes. With Divergent Family Law, you can expect reduced conflict and stress, cost-effective solutions, and a greater focus on preserving the best interests of your children. We'll act as your best advocate, from filing a divorce petition and temporary order hearings to settlement agreements. While most divorces are finalized outside of the courtroom, our Appleton attorneys have experience with trial divorces and how to appeal a ruling.

Steps to Divorce in Appleton, 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.

Legal Options that Work for You

The choice of which legal option to pursue depends on the specific circumstances of the case and the willingness of the parties involved to cooperate and reach an agreement.

Uncontested Divorce

  • Both parties reach an agreement without significant disputes, such as in divorce cases.
  • Matters like child custody, property division, and spousal support may be part of the agreement.
  • No need for a formal court trial; parties create an agreement and seek approval.
  • Usually a quicker, more cost-effective, and less emotionally burdensome process.

Mediated Divorce

  • A neutral mediator aids in communication, negotiation, and consensus-building.
  • Typically employed when there are some disagreements, aiming to avoid a full court trial.
  • Emphasizes a collaborative divorce and cooperative approach to legal issue resolution.
  • Often more cost-effective compared to a contested divorce.

Contested Divorce

  • Ideal when involved parties cannot reach terms and significant disagreements are present.
  • Involves a formal court trial.
  • Each party presents their case, and evidence is scrutinized; a judge renders the final decision.
  • Typically a more time-consuming, expensive, and emotionally draining process.


  • Annulment is a legal process declaring a marriage null and void, as if it never existed.
  • Unlike divorce, which ends a valid marriage, annulment establishes the marriage was invalid from the start.
  • Grounds for annulment include fraud, bigamy, lack of consummation or incapacity.
  • Objective is to legally erase the marriage, freeing both parties from the obligations and status of a valid marital union.
  • Requirements and procedures for annulment vary by jurisdiction.

Appleton Family Law Services

We offer support and legal guidance in Appleton for:

Child Custody

In Appleton, our dedicated team specializes in assisting parents in the creation of comprehensive parenting plans and custody arrangements, specifically tailored to address the complexities of child custody and visitation schedules. Our primary goal is to establish a framework that promotes stable and harmonious co-parenting, ensuring that the best interests of the child remain the top priority.

In most cases, the typical approach is to share custody between both parents, fostering a balanced and cooperative co-parenting relationship. However, we acknowledge that each family situation is unique, and there are instances where one party may have a greater share of custody or, in some cases, full custody. These exceptional circumstances require careful consideration and specialized arrangements, and we have the expertise to guide parents through these situations.

A key component of these arrangements is the establishment of a child placement order, which delineates where and with whom the child will actually spend their time. This order is designed to provide clarity and structure, ensuring that both parents understand their roles and responsibilities in the child's life, while also safeguarding the child's emotional and physical well-being. Ultimately, our aim is to create custody and visitation plans that are not only legally sound but also conducive to nurturing a positive, supportive, and healthy co-parenting environment.

Child Support

In certain cases, custodial parents may be eligible to receive child support from the noncustodial parent, which is typically calculated by considering various factors. The determination of child support often relies on the respective incomes of both parents, with the idea being to ensure that the child's financial needs are met adequately. We offer a divorce cost calculator to help you estimate child support payments.

These calculations take into account the income of the custodial parent as well as that of the noncustodial parent. Additionally, the financial requirements of the child, which may include expenses like education, healthcare, and day-to-day living costs, are considered. The goal is to establish a fair and equitable child support arrangement that allows the custodial parent to provide the child with a similar standard of living to that which they would have enjoyed had the parents remained together.

This process helps maintain the child's well-being and ensures that the responsibility of financially supporting the child is shared in a way that reflects the financial capacity of each parent. Child support arrangements are generally established through legal procedures and can be subject to placement modification as circumstances change.

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 often considered the best approach for couples seeking an amicable resolution to their divorce. This collaborative divorce method allows them to maintain their privacy while working together to address the often sensitive issues involved in divorce, such as child custody and property division. By opting for mediation, couples can foster a cooperative and constructive approach to co-parenting, ensuring the best interests of their children. This process often leads to a more positive and harmonious post-divorce relationship, as it encourages open communication and a mutual understanding of each other's needs and concerns. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can explore options for a divorce appeal.


Paternity is undoubtedly a critical component of family law, given its pivotal role in defining the legal rights and responsibilities of a father, while also providing essential protections for the child involved. Through the legal process, the court undertakes a comprehensive evaluation that encompasses various key aspects. This includes the determination of custody arrangements, placement schedules, visitation rights, and the establishment of child support orders, among other paternity related matters. By addressing these issues through temporary orders, the legal system aims to ensure the well-being and best interests of the child while maintaining a structured framework for the involved parties. These temporary orders often set the groundwork for ongoing legal proceedings, ensuring that the child's welfare remains a top priority throughout the legal process.

High Net Worth

Our expertise lies in navigating the multifaceted financial complexities that are inherent in high net worth divorces. This entails a comprehensive approach to asset division, where we meticulously evaluate and distribute property, investments, and other valuable assets, ensuring an equitable outcome for both parties involved.

We also excel in the intricate area of alimony. Spousal maintenance or alimony is the obligation of one spouse to pay the other spouse after the divorce has been finalized. We assess the financial needs and capabilities of each spouse, striving to establish a fair and sustainable support arrangement. A prenuptial agreement may also affect how spousal support is granted.

In high net worth divorces, we recognize that individuals often possess complex financial portfolios, which may include diverse investments, business interests, and real estate holdings. Our specialization extends to effectively unraveling and addressing these intricate financial structures, ensuring that every asset and liability is accounted for and fairly distributed. Our ultimate goal is to provide our clients with a just and balanced resolution that safeguards their financial well-being and secures a stable future beyond the divorce process

Use our free alimony calculator to calculate your spousal support payments in Wisconsin


Our seasoned legal team possesses an in-depth understanding of the distinctive challenges and intricacies often associated with military divorces in Appleton. We recognize the profound impact that deployments can have on family dynamics and divorce proceedings, and we are well-prepared to address these factors sensitively and effectively. Moreover, our team is highly knowledgeable about military benefits and the complex regulations governing their distribution in divorce cases, making sure that service members and their families receive the entitlements they deserve. We also assist with pro se divorce for military personnel.

In military divorces, jurisdictional issues can be particularly intricate due to the potential for spouses to reside in different locations or states. Our team is well-equipped to navigate these jurisdictional complexities, ensuring that legal proceedings occur in the most advantageous and appropriate venue for our clients. With our dedicated and experienced team by your side, you can expect 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 Appleton Families

Our flexible payment plans and years of experience make Divergent Family Law the best option for protecting your rights to property, income and children in Wisconsin. Learn more about the divorce costs and process timeline in Appleton, or other Wisconsin communities such as Milwaukee, Glendale, Madison, & Brookfield.

Attend a Free Divorce Seminar in Appleton

Divergent Family Law of Appleton 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.

The Next Step to Take

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

Appleton Divorce FAQ

How should I respond to being served divorce papers?

File a written Response and Counterclaim with your local court. Send a copy to your spouse and their attorney with 20 days of being served. If you don’t respond before the deadline, your spouse will be able to make requests without your input about child support and custody, alimony, and property division. If you haven't already, you should also seek a family law attorney to protect your rights.

How do I file a petition for divorce in Wisconsin?

You can file for a divorce in Wisconsin after living in the state for 6 months and the county where you want to file for 30 days. You can file jointly or separately. If you file separately, you’ll have to serve your spouse with divorce papers no more than 90 days after filing. Go to the Wisconsin Court System to learn more about the filing process.

What happens during a divorce?

One or both parties will file a petition for divorce (the non-filing spouse will be served papers). A temporary order hearing will be held if requested. Next, a settlement will be negotiated and then reviewed at a divorce trial. Lastly, a judge will make a final decree to determine how the divorced couple will handle important issues. Retaining a divorce lawyer as soon as the divorce process begins can help you avoid undesirable outcomes later.

What is a marital settlement agreement?

A marital settlement agreement, or divorce settlement agreement, is a document explaining how a divorced couple will handle child custody and support, asset and debt division, and spousal support payments. Marital settlement agreements are drafted and negotiated during the 120 day waiting period between divorce initiation and finalization. Divorce mediation can help create a marriage settlement agreement without court intervention.

What is the average cost of a divorce in Wisconsin?

As of 2021, the average cost of a divorce in Wisconsin is $9,900. However, the cost can be thousands of dollars more or less depending on if the divorce is contested, if you have children, and how much property you need to divide.

What is a contested divorce?

A contested divorce happens when you and your spouse can’t agree on the terms of the divorce and need a judge to help make those decisions for you. If you need to go to court for any reason, the divorce will be considered contested and will cost you more money and time.

What is divorce mediation?

Divorce mediation uses a neutral third-party to help a couple settle their differences and come to an agreement that works for both of them. It is often cheaper than a traditional divorce because of the lack of litigation.

How much is divorce mediation?

Divorce mediation can cost between $3,000 and $8,000, but costs vary depending on the mediator's qualifications, how many sessions you and your spouse need, and how many issues you have to work through before coming to an agreement. Divergent's mediators charge a flat fee, while others charge by session or hour.

How much will I pay in child support in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin uses percentage income guidelines to determine how much you’ll pay in child support (one child: 17%, 2 children: 25%, 3 children: 29%, 4 children: 31%, etc.) Other factors that influence payment amounts include the percentage of your placement with your child, your average income, if you support more than one family, etc.

When does child support end in Wisconsin?

Child support ends when the child turns 18. If the child is still enrolled in high school or pursuing a GED, then you may have to support them until they are 19.




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