How to Apply for Divorce Certificate in Wisconsin

Divorce Certificates How to Apply for Divorce Certificate in Wisconsin

How to Obtain Wisconsin Divorce Certificates in Few Simple Steps reveals that in 2019, Wisconsin recorded 2.3 divorces for every 1000 inhabitants. Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state, meaning a spouse can request a divorce without explaining why the marriage didn't work. Notably, a divorce in Wisconsin is only legalized when it has gone through the proper legal channels and is approved by a court of law. If you recently divorced, it is crucial that you obtain a copy of the Wisconsin divorce certificate. 

If you recently divorced in Wisconsin, it is crucial that you obtain a copy of the divorce certificate. A  has a significant number of purposes. It proves your divorce is legal and that the documents were ratified and signed by a judge in a court of law. Besides, if you wish to remarry, you are required to produce a copy of the divorce certificate, so the new marriage takes place.

Specific guidelines and processes must be followed when requesting a copy of a divorce certificate in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, Wisconsin residents go through frustration getting copies of divorce certificates either due to a lack of information on appropriate steps to take or because the established processes are too long, tedious, and complex. Fortunately, DoNotPay has introduced a new Certificates of Divorce product to help you conveniently and quickly request copies of certified, US government-issued divorce certificate right from your laptop and prove the divorce took place legally.

What Is the Difference Between Divorce Certificates and Divorce Decrees?

Although the terms "divorce certificate" and "divorce decree" are at times used interchangeably, they are different documents issued by different entities:

Divorce certificate: divorce certificate is an official document that carries identifying information for both spouses and the date and place of finalizing a divorce. The divorce certificate is typically issued by the vital records office in your state. It is a one-page document that provides proof of a divorce. Divorce certificates are crucial for the following purposes:

  • If you want to remarry
  • When filing for a legal name change
  • When applying for landed immigration status
  • When you are refinancing a home
  • To show proof of the divorce to creditors

Divorce decree: Typically, a divorce decree is a US court-issued order that officially terminates a marriage while detailing each party's obligations and rights regarding key decisions in a divorce such as child custody, child support, property division, alimony. A judge signs a divorce decree to make both spouses legally bound to its terms.

The primary purpose of a divorce decree is to finalize your divorce. Unlike a divorce certificate, a divorce decree is more detailed and includes several pieces of information, including both spouses' identifying information (names, addresses, and birthdates), identifying information of any minor children, court's address and phone number, details of attorneys involved in the case, and case number. Other details in a divorce decree include the official end date of marriage, the judge's name, a declaration that divorce is over, child support, child custody, property allocation, and more. A divorce decree serves several purposes, including:

  • An enforcement tool: Both spouses have to comply with the order in the divorce decree. If your spouse is neglecting the decree's terms, you have a right to file a motion asking the court to enforce it.
  • Proof of divorce: It can also help prove your marriage has ended, so you can tie loose ends of your marriage, for example, closing a joint account.
  • A reference document: A divorce decree can serve as a reference point should you have disputes with your former spouse regarding time-sensitive issues such as custody, child support, or alimony.

Who Can Get a Divorce Certificate Copy in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin Vital Records issues certified copies of all vital records, including divorce certificates for divorce proceedings that occurred within the state of Wisconsin. Access to a copy of the Wisconsin divorce certificate is restricted to the following:

  1. The person named on the record
  2. The spouse of the person named on the record
  3. A child of the persons named on the record
  4. A sibling of the persons named on the record
  5. One or both parents of the persons named on the record
  6. A grandparent of the person named on the record
  7. A person who has been authorized to obtain a copy by any of the persons named above. The authorization must be written and show the authorizing party's relationship to the subject.
  8. A person who can prove the copy is needed to protect a personal right or property right.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Divorce Certificate Copy in Wisconsin?

You will pay $20 for the first copy of a divorce certificate in Wisconsin. A $3 fee is charged for each additional copy of the same record. This cost is similar whether you mail in the request form or submit it in person.

City/County/State OfficeContact Address and Phone NumberDivorce Certificate Processing Fee
Wisconsin Vital Records ServicesWI Vital Records Office

1 West Wilson Street

P.O. Box 309

Madison, WI 53701-0309

Customer Service: 608-266-1373

Cost of copy: $20.00

How Long Does It Take To Get a Copy of a Divorce Certificate in Wisconsin?

Requesting for certified copies of divorce certificates in Wisconsin usually takes two weeks, including the mail time. Mail requests for uncertified copies can take up to 1 month, including the mail time.

What Documents Do I Need to Get a Copy of a Divorce Certificate in Wisconsin?

Request for certified copies requires proof of identification. These include:

  • Applicant's original ID is required for in-person applications, or a photocopy of the applicant's ID is required for mail applications.
  • Check or money order for specified fees
  • Self-addressed envelope
  • A written request containing all pertinent facts of the record, including names of involved parties, the date, the specific location where the divorce was finalized, and the case file number.

How to Get a Wisconsin Divorce Certificate by Yourself/on Your Own

Wisconsin divorce records from October 1907 are available from the Wisconsin Vital Records Office. You can get the certificate via several options, including online and phone orders, mail orders, or in-person orders:

How to Request a Copy of the Divorce Certificate Online

Wisconsin Vital Records has a partnership with VitalCheck network inc. to provide this service. Follow the steps outlined below to apply.

Contact VitalChek through their website.

  1. Fill in the required fields on the electronic forms, including your name, contact information, divorce date, and reasons for the request.
  2. Pay $20 for the first copy of a divorce certificate plus the additional fee that VitalChek charges for the service. VitalChek takes all leading credit cards, including Discovery, American Express, MasterCard, or Visa.

Keep in mind that this method's processing time is usually five days after receipt. However, expedited processing options are available for an additional fee.

How to Request a Copy of the Divorce Certificate by Phone

You can also place an order by phone through VitalChek:

  1. Call VitalChek on 877-885-2981 during business hours, 8 am to 5 pm.
  2. Provide identifying information and other required details
  3. Pay for the required charges and fees and provide your address.

Keep in mind, the processing time for this method is usually five days after receipt; expedited processing options are available for an additional fee.

How to Request a Copy of the Divorce Certificate by Mail

You can also choose to write a letter requesting the divorce certificate. Follow the steps outlined below:

Write a letter to Wisconsin Vital Records Office and include all critical information required to perform the record search.

  1. Attach a photocopy of your government-issued photo ID.
  2. Mail your request together with the correct charges and other fees (check or money order) to Wisconsin Vital Records Office, PO Box 309, Madison, WI 53701.
  3. Keep in mind, the processing time for this method is usually ten days after receipt. The processing time doesn't include mailing time from and to the person requesting person.

How to Request a Copy of the Divorce Certificate in Person

You can also get a copy of the divorce certificate by visiting the Wisconsin Vital Records office in-person:

  1. Call 608-266-1373 and press option 4 to reach customer care and schedule an appointment.
  2. Visit the Wisconsin Vital Records office on 1 West Wilson Street, Room 160 Madison, WI 53703 on the appointed date and time.
  3. Present your government-issued ID and provide all the necessary information to perform a search.
  4. Pay the processing fee by cash, check, or money order.

The in-person request usually takes up to one hour to be processed.

Next Steps for Obtaining a Wisconsin Divorce if You Can’t Do It Yourself

If you can't leverage any of the methods discussed above to obtain a divorce certificate, you can use the services of private companies that offer vital record search services. However, this can also be a tedious, costly, and complicated process. Besides the processing fee, you will also be forced to pay additional fees charged by the private service provider. Fortunately, DoNotPay can help you solve all these challenges through the new Certificates of Divorce product.

Solve the Wisconsin Divorce Certificate Issues Instantly With the Help of DoNotPay

If you want to get a copy of a divorce certificate but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 7 easy steps:

  1. Go to the Certificates of Divorce product on DoNotPay.
  2. Select whether the certificate belongs to you or a relative/loved one. If it belongs to someone else, enter the details of both people on the certificate, and select/upload evidence that proves your relationship with them. If the certificate is yours, enter the details of your spouse. Please note: some states only allow people named on the certificate to apply.
  3. Enter the city, state, and county where the divorce certificate and original divorce certificate were issued as well as the dates they were issued on.
  4. Indicate what you will be using this certificate for, and choose whether you need an authorized or certified copy.
  5. Enter your contact information and shipping address. Upload copies of your government-issued identification, such as a driver's license.
  6. Choose whether you would like to electronically sign this form or not. Once we generate the form, verify that all of the information is correct.
  7. If you need the document to be notarized, schedule a notarization appointment using our Notary product. Otherwise, proceed to our Mail Checks product and let DoNotPay mail-in your request form with a check on your behalf.

Let DoNotPay Help You Get Certified Divorce Certificates

Undoubtedly, a divorce is a highly stressful and life-changing event. After a divorce, it is crucial to get a divorce certificate to get closure and move on with your life. Getting a copy of a divorce certificate in Wisconsin need not be frustrating. That is why DoNotPay has made it easier for you to request copies of your . Leverage DoNotPay's Certificates of Divorce product to digitally apply and request certified copies straight from your laptop. Contact us today to request a demo.

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