Experienced Mequon Divorce Attorney
Everyone hopes to never have to endure a divorce, one of life’s most traumatic experiences. But some marriages deteriorate beyond repair. If you’re facing a divorce, you need to know what lies ahead in the legal process. What are the grounds for divorce in Wisconsin? The only basis for divorce in Wisconsin is that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” This means the husband and wife can find no way to work out their differences. A judge usually will find a marriage irretrievably broken even if only one spouse wants a divorce. We are here to help provide some guidance to help you through this tough process.
What is the Difference Between a Divorce and a Legal Separation?
Divorce ends a marriage. Legal separation involves the same procedures as divorce, but the separated spouses can’t marry others.
Legal separation is an alternative for people who wish to avoid divorce for religious or other reasons. The court grants a legal separation on the ground that the marriage relationship is broken. Like a divorce, a legal separation requires property division and determination of child custody and placement. The court may order maintenance and child support payments. After one year, either spouse can seek to have a legal separation converted into a divorce without the other spouse’s consent. Spouses who reconcile after a legal separation may apply to have the separation revoked.
What is Mediation?
A mediator takes no one’s side. His or her role is to help a couple to communicate and arrive at mutual agreements. Through mediation, you may be able to resolve disputes faster, with less bitterness, and at less cost than battling in court. As mentioned earlier, the family court’s counseling services provide mediation for couples needing help to settle child custody and placement issues. Family court counseling usually doesn’t address property settlements, maintenance, or child support – unless these issues relate directly to child custody or placement. But you may discuss these issues if both of you agree in writing to do so. Usually, the spouses split most of the family court counseling costs. Private mediation services also are available. Here a couple can discuss any issues pertaining to their divorce, and they pay all the mediation costs. Your lawyer can refer you to an appropriate service.
What Are Cooperative and Collaborative Divorce?
In these processes, the focus is on settlement of issues. The goal is to reduce the emotional and financial effects of divorce by avoiding formal discovery and individual appraisal of assets. In a collaborative divorce, if the process fails, the attorneys for both spouses must withdraw and turn the case over to other attorneys.
For more information on collaborative divorce in Wisconsin, go to www.collabdivorce.com. In a cooperative divorce, although the emphasis is on settlement, court is still available as an option, but only if all efforts at settlement fail. For more information about cooperative divorce in Wisconsin, go to www.cooperativedivorce.org.
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