Types of Family Actions of Wisconsin – Divorce and Alternatives

In Wisconsin, there are three actions that affect a marriage: divorce, legal separation and annulment.  All three actions serve to end or separate a marriage.

The legal basis for a divorce is that one or both of the parties must testify that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”  Once a 120 day waiting period passes, a Judgment of Divorce can be granted that terminates the marriage.  After six months, the divorced parties are free to remarry.  In a divorce case, property and debt is divided, maintenance (alimony) is determined, and if there are minor children, custody, placement and child support is decided.

A legal separation is similar to a divorce, except that the legal basis is that there is a “substantial breakdown of the marital relationship.  Parties must also wait 120 days before a Judgment of Legal Separation can be granted.  Like a divorce case, property and debt is divided, maintenance (alimony) is determined, and if there are minor children, custody, placement and child support is decided.  The significant difference is that a legally separated couple cannot ever remarry, unless the Judgment of Divorce is granted at a later date.

An annulment may be granted if the Court determines that the marriage was prohibited from the start (due to age of a party, incompetence, influence of drugs/alcohol, one party was already married) or that there was a “fraud to the essentials of the marriage.”  An annulment means that the marriage never occurred.

To schedule a free initial office consultation to discuss your divorce or alternatives, please contact us at 414-258-1644 or visit us at Nelson, Krueger & Millenbach, LLC for further information.

Alison H.S. Davis

We welcome your comments or questions. We will do our best to try to respond. However, please be advised that we cannot give legal advice in this forum and all communications are for general informational purposes only. Communication should not be construed as forming an attorney-client relationship. This is an open forum and any information you provide may be posted and will not be held confidentially. By posting a comment or question, you are expressly giving consent for the publication of same. If you have any specific legal issues or concerns, we always recommend that you consult with an attorney in the county and state in which you reside.

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