The Real Cost of DivorceIn Wisconsin
The intelligent lens to look at your divorce through is property division and costs on the way to your new best life. Beware the Wisconsin divorce lawyer who talks too much about winning. Winning property occasionally happens at the casino. Dividing property happens in every divorce. An attorney who understands your divorce objectives can position you better based on their understanding of:
- the judge
- your goals
- your ex
- their attorney
- Wisconsin family law
- The interplay between and all above
Wisconsin Divorce Cost FAQ
- How much does a Wisconsin divorce cost?
Wisconsin divorce averages out around $12,000—however divorce costs range from $3,000 to $30,000. Costs can be even higher depending on the number of assets, child custody and placement issues, or the number of issues that may be contested before a judge. To learn more, see our interactive Real Costs divorce quiz.
- How much does it cost to file for a divorce in Wisconsin?
Divorce filing fees in Wisconsin vary by county but the cost of filing for divorce is around $200.
- How long does it take to get a divorce in Wisconsin?
The amount of time a divorce takes depends on the type of divorce and the number of contested issues between spouses. The average time it takes to get a divorce finalized in Wisconsin is a year. This includes a 120-day waiting period after service of divorce papers or after the joint petition has been filed with the court. See all the steps of a divorce in Wisconsin for more information.
- How much does it cost to get a mutual divorce in Wisconsin?
A mutual divorce or uncontested divorce is when both parties agree on all terms before entering the courtroom, and it is the quickest and easiest form of divorce. The cost of a mutual divorce can range between $3,500-$25,000 depending on the number and complexity of the issues to be presented in front of a judge.
- Can you get a divorce without a lawyer in Wisconsin?
A “pro se divorce” which literally means “divorce for oneself” is when a person represents themselves in lieu of a lawyer. A pro se divorce is possible in Wisconsin, but typically only when the spouses agree on every issue concerning the divorce including child support and child custody. Other issues that have to be agreed upon to forego traditional divorce lawyers include asset division and alimony. If there are any issues of contentions between parties, divorce mediation is an alternative option for spouses willing to cooperate.
- Does it matter who files for divorce first in Wisconsin?
Filing for divorce first has no real benefit in most cases according to attorneys, but occasionally can make a difference. Spouses who plan in advance and select a quality Wisconsin lawyer first have had more time to mentally and emotionally prepare for the divorce process. Filing first also gives you more time to organize your finances and plan for covering the cost of your Wisconsin divorce.
- How do I start a divorce proceeding in Wisconsin?
To start a divorce proceeding in Wisconsin, you must be a resident of the state of Wisconsin for at least 6 months. You also have to be a resident of your county for 1 month before filing. If you decide to file for divorce alone, you need to serve your spouse divorce papers and submit proof that papers have been served to the court. Once you have filed, there is a mandatory 120-day waiting period.
What Impacts the Cost of Divorce in Wisconsin?
The cost of divorce is heavily influenced by shared assets. What you and your spouse own needs to be split fairly — not evenly. Certain factors increase the risk of a high-cost divorce, including:
SPOUSAL SUPPORT OR ALIMONY DISPUTES
If you’re exiting a long marriage with a high standard of living, your case is a high risk divorce). There will be a fight, and you will need an attorney. Alimony (called spousal maintenance in Wisconsin) means that your long term financial outlay could be dramatic.
CHILD CUSTODY - 1 CHILD (PRIMARY PHYSICAL PLACEMENT)
If you and your partner have children together, getting a divorce will likely be more expensive. The living arrangement of the child will determine primary physical placement and impact child support payments. Wisconsin child support for one child is 17% of your gross income. If your salary is more than $39,000 per year 45% of your paycheck will go to income tax and child support.
CHILD CUSTODY- MULTIPLE CHILDREN
- Additional children are calculated on the remainder:
- 2 children - 25% of gross income
- 3 children - 29% of gross income
- 4 children - 31% of gross income
- 5 or more children - 34% of gross income
PROPERTY & ASSET DIVISION
Shared real estate, retirement funds, savings and other assets can cause a problem for divorce budgets. These divorces usually end up going to trial, where financial analysis is often required. An attorney experienced in high net worth divorce is adept at navigating the costly process while keeping your assets intact.
What about Pro- Se Divorce?
Even if you and your partner come up with an agreement on your own, the court reserves the right to reject it — putting you back at square one. For most people, the risks of divorce without a lawyer vastly outweigh the costs of attorney’s fees. If financing is likely to be an issue consider payment plans or look into limited scope representation.
Minimizing your emotional & financial losses
Even in what starts as a mutually agreeable divorce, frustration and unfair rulings can quickly turn the proceedings sour. On top of the financial burden of divorce, drawn-out, highly emotional proceedings can take a toll on your mental health. Anxiety, frustration and anger compound the financial cost of divorce, making it difficult to cope with the process.
Our in-depth understanding of divorce proceedings means our lawyers can tell you up front with considerable accuracy the details of your divorce decree. We know Wisconsin divorce law, we know the adjudicators, and we know your rights.
Contact Divergent for a free, no-obligation consultation on your divorce.