The Real Cost of DivorceIn Wisconsin
The average cost of a divorce in Wisconsin in 2023 is $11,300, including filing and attorney fees. If the parties have minor children together, the cost can increase to $17,000-$30,000 depending on child placement, child support, alimony, and property division disputes. Families with high incomes or undergoing business asset division may even exceed $100,000 in costs. The main factors that increase Wisconsin divorce costs are:
- Minor children—often a child placement, custody or support dispute
- One spouse has a significantly higher income
- Disagreement on division of property and assets
- You and your spouse own or run a business together
- A spouse began attending college during the marriage and they are in the middle of obtaining a degree
- One spouse is moving to a different state and you have minor children together
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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.