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Do It Yourself Divorce in Wisconsin

Do It Yourself Divorce in Wisconsin


A Do It Yourself Divorce in Wisconsin Guide


If you’re a resident in Wisconsin seeking a divorce with your husband or wife, there are some aspects of the process that you must know for a better understanding of how the law works.


A Divorce Petition


A do it yourself divorce in WI generally begins with a ‘divorce petition,’ a document offered by any legal aid department within the state of Wisconsin for the purpose of “doing it yourself” without a lawyer. A spouse simply needs to fill out the petition and then send copies of it to the court in the county where either spouse resides and to the other spouse.


From then on, the spouse petitioning for the divorce becomes known as the “Petitioner,” and the spouse receiving the copy of the petition becomes known as the “Respondent.” 


What Is Included in a Divorce Petition?


Any do it yourself divorce in Wisconsin must have these pieces of information: name(s) of child(ren), name of husband, and name of wife. In addition, the names and addresses of any separate properties outside of the family household must be listed on the petition. Stipulations on child custody, child support, and spousal support must also be included.


Steps Toward Serving the Petition


For a do it yourself divorce in WI, the petition – sometimes known as the “divorce papers” – must be delivered to the Respondent. A Petitioner can do this, or a Petitioner can hire a professional process server to do it. Either way, once the petition sits in the hands of the Respondent, he or she can either sign it or not. Signing it simply means that he or she confirms receipt of the petition. Not signing it means that the Petitioner must then file a default ruling on the petition in court. The entire process of getting the petition to the Respondent is called the “service of process.”


Once the Petition Is Served….


A waiting period begins with the arrival of the signed petition in court where automatic restraining orders are issued for both parties as well as mandates stating that any children may not be taken out of state for any reason as well as no new insurance be purchased or old insurance be sold and property be sold or borrowed against.


A Respondent can also “respond” to the petition with an answer to either disagree or agree with the petition. Of course, an agreement will lead to a petition ultimately progressing faster through the process, as it is a finalization on agreement of divorce.


But if a Respondent disagrees….


What Happens When One Spouse Doesn’t Agree With the Terms of the Divorce?


The process then gets much more complex, as the Respondent’s response to disagree with any part of the petition, even the whole petition, will then send the petition for divorce directly to court for a hearing. Deliberations occur for this kind of do it yourself divorce in Wisconsin that can involve anything and everything about the marriage – child custody, child support, property, even the entire marriage and whether or not the marriage should be salvaged.


Needless to say, when the hearing is finished, the waiting period continues until it ends. At that time, any do it yourself divorce in WI will begin with the court’s final judgment of divorce.