Can a Divorce be Suspended to Attempt Reconciliation in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, parties have the option to suspend their divorce proceedings at any time prior to the judgment of divorce, if BOTH parties want to attempt to reconcile.

It takes only one party to begin a divorce proceeding, but both parties must agree to a suspension of divorce proceedings. To do so, the parties must sign a Stipulation and Order Suspending Proceedings to Effect Reconciliation in order to start the suspension. Once this form is filed with the court, the court will honor this request by giving the parties 90 days to reconcile. This essentially has the effect of putting the case on hold and nothing happens during this time period. Any upcoming court dates are cancelled.

Let’s say that both parties agree to suspend the divorce proceedings, but one party changes his or her mind prior to the 90 days. If this happens, at any time, the party who has changed his or her mind and wants to continue the proceedings has to file a Motion and Order to Revoke Suspension of Proceedings to Effect Reconciliation. Once filed, the divorce proceedings begin again and the court will schedule a status or pre-trial date.

In the alternative, what if both parties decide that they do not need the full 90 days because reconciliation was successful? In this situation, the parties can dismiss their case by filing a Stipulation and Order for Dismissal.

You need to be aware of your time constraints however, because if after the 90 days neither party has filed anything, the divorce proceedings will simply begin again and the court will schedule a status date or pre-trial.

Please note, the above described procedures and forms are used when parties want to suspend a Legal Separation procedure as well.

8 thoughts on “Can a Divorce be Suspended to Attempt Reconciliation in Wisconsin?

  1. I currently have an order to Suspending Proceedings, however the 90 day period is almost over.

    We are still working on things, but I’m not certain if I am ready to dismiss at this point. Can I file another Stipulation to Suspend?

    If so, how many times can this be done? Or how long will the court keep the case open without moving forward?

    • No, you can only do one suspension. After that 90 days expires, the case must move forward. However, every county is different in terms of how quickly they want the case to proceed. In Milwaukee, for example, you would need to schedule a pre-trial or status date and the court calendars are generally 60-90 days out from there. So that gives you extra time. However, in Waukesha, they want you to come in right away and start moving forward. You would need to discuss with an attorney the procedures of your particular county and what is expected of you after that initial 90 day suspension. Good luck.

  2. We filed for divorce on 09/22/15. We then filed the paperwork to suspend the divorce in March 2016. We now want to refile for divorce as we cannot reconcile. Do we need to wait the entire 120 days again before we can finalize?

  3. my husband and I dismissed our divorce 12/5/18 (was approved from judge). Today is 3/13/19 and we want to get divorced for sure now. Do need to file all over again? Is there a such where we can file a motion to bypass the 120 day waiting period in Kenosha County?

    • Yes, I am afraid you need to start all over again and, no, there is no way to waive the 120 day waiting period. In 28 years of practice, I have never been successful of having that done. Sorry!

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