WI Divorce Laws—Property Division Rules Explained
Determining how to divide property in a divorce often causes conflict between spouses. The reasons go beyond emotional attachment to possessions—many spouses feel they need sufficient assets to support themselves after the divorce.
One of the crucial factors to consider when divorcing in Wisconsin is how the state manages property division. In this article, DoNotpay will address WI divorce laws and property division and explain how you can benefit from a friendly divorce with your spouse!
Wisconsin is one of the few so-called community property states. That means all property, assets, and debts are equally divided between spouses during a divorce, legal separation, or annulment. In most other states, a judge decides how to distribute the property depending on the circumstances of each case.
To comprehend Wisconsin laws about property division, you must first understand:
- What constitutes property in this state
- Which assets are subject to division and under what circumstances
Property under WI law refers to anything with a monetary value that can be bought or sold. Common examples of the property include:
- Cash and bank accounts
- Pension plans
- Life insurance with cash value
Wisconsin Marital Law defines possessions owned by a married couple as marital or community property, with some exceptions.
To find out more about how different types of property are distributed in a Wisconsin divorce, consult the table below:
|Property||Definition||Division Under Wisconsin Law|
|Quasi-community property||Assets purchased by one or both spouses while living in a state with non-community property laws||Once the couple moves to Wisconsin and files for divorce there, the state divides this type of property as if it was acquired in a community property state|
|Separate property||Possessions acquired as a gift or inheritance from a third party||This type of property is typically exempt from equal property division in WI. Different rules may apply when a separate property was commingled into a marital asset (for example, one person’s inheritance deposited into a joint account). Gifts exchanged between spouses are subject to equal division|
|Mixed property||Separate property mixed into marital assets||Judges typically divide mixed property by estimating which portion is marital and which separate|
While Wisconsin is a community property state, the law allows courts to distribute the assets differently if there’s a valid reason to do so. Before determining whether to take that path, the judge will typically consider the following:
- Marriage duration
- Assets each spouse brought into the union
- Amount of property that’s not subject to division brought by each spouse
- Age and physical and emotional health of each party
- Each spouse’s earning capacity
- Amount and duration of alimony
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage
- Other financial circumstances of each spouse
- Tax consequences for each marriage partner
Considering all factors that have to be addressed, property and debt division during divorce can cause great stress. How fast you’ll complete the process and at what cost depends on your relationship with your spouse and willingness to negotiate the division peacefully.
Three main methods of having your marital property divided include:
Are you and your spouse on good terms and eager to get out of the marriage as fast as possible? Filing for an uncontested divorce—which involves settling all divorce issues privately—will enable you to end your marriage without excessive frustrations and empty pockets. If you subscribe to DoNotPay, we will incorporate all details of your understanding in a bullet-proof divorce settlement agreement.
When the spouses are willing to settle everything out of court but could benefit from professional guidance, they can opt for mediation. A judge may also order the couple to use this method. Once the negotiations are completed, spouses need to outline the results in a divorce settlement agreement.
If you and your spouse can’t work out the terms of the agreement on your own, the case will move to the courtroom. After multiple hearings, the judge will make the final decision and split the property as they see fit. Bear in mind that taking this path will prolong the divorce proceedings significantly. You’ll also need to hire a lawyer to present your case and ensure the best possible outcome.
Have you and your spouse settled on a quickie divorce? Creating a comprehensive marital settlement agreement is an essential part of any successful divorce.
Luckily, you don’t need to overpay lawyers to draft one. We will create a professional marital settlement agreement at a low cost and in record time!
Here’s what to do:
- Open DoNotPay in a web browser
- Go to our Divorce Settlement Agreement tool
- Answer our chatbot’s questions regarding your spouse and other relevant matters
We will use the provided info and combine it with our knowledge of state laws to generate a document that ticks all the boxes.
Do you need a notarized agreement? You can book an online notary using our platform and complete the process from the comfort of your home!
Do you need more info on divorces? Check out our articles on the following subjects:
- Online divorces
- Divorce papers (how to serve them, what falls under uncontested divorce papers, and which divorce forms you need to file in WI)
- Process of filing for divorce
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