Divorce Attorneys

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Wisconsin divorce lawyer for pro se, uncontested, contest divorce process

Divorce Can Get Messy

Arriving at a decision to divorce can be a hard-fought battle on its own. When the decision to divorce is firm, finding the right Milwaukee family law attorney becomes an immediate and invaluable priority.

Our attorneys are zealous advocates for the rights and best interests of each client in court and when negotiating a divorce settlement.

Have You Been Served Divorce Papers?

If you were recently served divorce papers in Wisconsin, you only have 20 days to respond! You need to act fast and get ahead of the process by consulting one of our experienced divorce attorneys.

We understand the amount of stress, anxiety and sheer energy expenditure it takes to end a marriage and keep moving forward. We bring unclouded vision and unmatched determination to your side of the case so you can focus on holding it together while in the midst of upheaval.

We’ll be honest with you about how things usually shakedown in divorce court and what your best, most realistic options are.

You may be planning an uncontested divorce or legal separation and wondering if you really need to hire an attorney. Remember the lesson most recently learned from marriage: things change.

Contact a veteran divorce attorney in Milwaukee, Glendale, Brookfield, Madison, or Appleton



Types of Divorce

In Wisconsin

Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state, meaning the only necessary ground for divorce is an irretrievable breakdown of a marriage. In other words, you can call a spade a spade without having to prove fault on one side or the other.




Most divorces in Wisconsin are uncontested, meaning no courtroom litigation. Uncontested divorces are also referred to as stipulated divorces. 

Even if you and your soon-to-be-ex agree on the big issues like division of assets, child custody, and allocation of debts, it’s still in your best interest to hire an experienced divorce lawyer before taking legal action.

Our divorce mediation lawyers get to know you and your priorities and make recommendations based on our in-depth understanding of Wisconsin divorce law.

It’s not uncommon for a divorce to begin as uncontested until the claws come out. When the unexpected arises during divorce proceedings, we’re by your side to smooth out the wrinkles and neutralize any threats to your successful outcome.



In a contested divorce the spouses either disagree about getting divorced or about the terms of the divorce.

In many cases, a couple undergoing a contested divorce reaches a divorce settlement before going to trial.

It’s crucial to have effective representation during all stages of a contested divorce. Our attorneys are highly skilled in courtroom litigation and settlement negotiation and will see you through the adversities and complexities of a contested divorce.

The Divorce Process

Is Pro Se

An Option For Me?

The phrase “pro se” is Latin meaning “on one’s own behalf.” When you proceed with a divorce without an attorney, you are proceeding pro se, meaning you are representing yourself. Divorce forms and paperwork are accessible online or at the courthouses. You will be responsible for completing all the necessary forms to submit to the court.

The number of people who represent themselves during divorce is continually rising. If you are going through a complicated divorce with child placement, support payments, or business complications, representing yourself is not in your best interest. Divorce law can be tricky, filled with many intricacies that may not be known to pro se parties. Many times people who initially proceed pro se in court end up having to return to court later on to renegotiate issues that were not fully resolved. Hiring an attorney from the start can save you time and money in the long run.

We do offer guidance on the pro se process. Our professionals can help you select the correct documents and provide legal advice without requiring full representation. Please contact Divergent Family Law to consult with an attorney regarding these options.


What About

Legal Separation?

Legal separation provides a middle ground. When a couple doesn’t want to divorce but also doesn’t want to continue living as a married couple.

In Wisconsin, legal separation follows a similar process to divorce but leaves the marriage intact. There are still matters of property, debt, child custody and spousal support to work out before the court grants your separation.

If you reconcile with your spouse, a legal separation can be revoked. A judge can also convert a legal separation into a divorce after a year, or possibly sooner if both parties agree.

A divorce lawyer can help you when what begins as legal separation becomes a divorce when you and your spouse disagree on the details of the separation, or if you need help determining the best type of divorce to pursue.

We have family law offices throughout Wisconsin to assist you with any type of divorce.


What Is A

Default Divorce?

To begin a divorce the non-filing party must be served with the Summons and Petition.  If the non-filing party does not respond to the Petition and the filing party has taken all measures to engage them in the action, the court can proceed with granting a divorce judgment. This is referred to as a default divorce.

A default divorce does not happen very often. When it does, the filing party will be granted all the terms that they are requesting from the court, so long as the court can justify the terms according to the laws.


When a couple decides to end their marriage, the legal action can take multiple routes. If they are able to come to an agreement about all of the required details, including division of assets, child custody, placement, and alimony, then they can apply for an uncontested divorce.

In many cases, property division and child custody are emotional decisions to make. Divorce mediation or a court proceeding may be the only way to reach a mutual agreement. A collaborative divorce occurs when the two parties are able to finalize a divorce through negotiation or mediation. A contested divorce occurs when the parties cannot reach an agreement, in which case the divorce case must go to trial and a judge will rule a final, indisputable hearing.


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Experienced Wisconsin family divorce attorney
Child Custody

It is important to remember that no matter what a parent wants for the outcome of a custody case, any final decision will be made with regards to the child’s best interests before any other factors are taken into consideration.

The term “custody” is often used as a general term regarding the amount of time that a child will spend with each parent or guardian, as well as the degree of legal power each parent or guardian has over decisions relating to the child’s life, such as medical treatments, religious and educational preferences, and more. However, Wisconsin separates these decisions into two areas, “custody” and “placement.” Custody refers specifically to the legal right that a parent has in decisions regarding the care and upbringing of the child. Custody can be either shared or sole, depending on the court's decision.


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Wisconsin divorce attorney specializing in child custody

Placement refers to the arrangement between parents or guardians regarding how the child’s time is shared between the two parties. The child’s welfare is the primary consideration when the judge makes the final decision. Placement can be designated as primary, shared, or split. Primary placement is granted to the parent or guardian that the child spends the most time with. Shared placement refers to each parent dividing the amount of time the child spends with them. Split placement is a third option when multiple children are involved. Each child receives his or her own specific schedule.


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Milwaukee child placement family attorney
Child Support

In order to ensure that the child support payments are fair, the judge will explore all of the relevant details, such as the income and financial stability of each parent, as well as which parent will have the majority of the financial responsibility for the children.

Child support payments may be required until the child turns 18, or there may be other circumstances that extend the payments beyond their 18th birthday depending on the child's needs. Parents can also request for their child support agreement to be reevaluated in court. To see an estimate of your monthly child support payments, use our Wisconsin child support calculator.


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Milwaukee child support lawyer and mediator

Alimony is often confused for child support, and while each involves a payment going from one spouse to the other, the similarities end there. Alimony is a payment that is made from the most-financially stable spouse to the dependent spouse for a set period of time. These payments are intended to give the dependent spouse an opportunity to adjust to their life without the ability to rely on their spouse’s income.

Alimony payments are determined by the current financial circumstances of each spouse. The agreement can always be renegotiated if one of the parents goes through a major income change. In particular, if the recipient of the alimony remarries, they may lose the spousal support payments. The terms of the agreement are clearly outlined by the lawyers or judge.


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Wisconsin family lawyer for alimony cases
Father's Rights

In situations involving unwed parents, the father may find that they have very few legal rights over their child. In these cases, it is especially important for the unwed father to partner with a family lawyer who can help him navigate his situation.

In addition to issues strictly pertaining to legal rights over a child, father’s rights also include issues like paternity tests, contesting adoptions or custody-related decisions, visitation, or instances where the father would like to terminate their rights. No matter the problem, if you need legal help as a father, we're here to help.


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Family attorney to protect father’s rights
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