Ending a marriage is a tough decision. No one reaches that decision without contemplating it for a long time. When couples finally reach the point where divorce seems like the only option, they are eager to get it done and over with. However, the complexity of the divorce process does not provide an easy road.
Many depend on the guidance and assistance of expensive lawyers to navigate the process. But there are other options. You can make the process inexpensive and quick by undertaking the divorce process in Wisconsin without an attorney. However, to do so, you need to know certain things.
Grounds for divorce in Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state. It means that couples can obtain a divorce just by stating irreconcilable differences as the reason. You do not have to provide evidence of infidelity, desertion, or any other kind of failing by your spouse to pursue the divorce process. If you and your spouse are not getting along with each other, that is reason enough for getting a divorce in Wisconsin.
Who files first, you or your spouse, is also rendered irrelevant in Wisconsin, given it’s a no-fault divorce state. There is no clear advantage to the party filing for divorce first in a no-fault divorce state.
Requirements for getting a divorce in Wisconsin
- You must be a resident of the state for at least six months before filing for divorce in Wisconsin.
- You must also be a county resident for at least 30 days before filing for divorce.
- If you are not submitting a joint petition for divorce with your spouse, you must also serve your spouse with divorce papers and provide evidence of service to the court.
- After you have filed for divorce in Wisconsin, the court observes a 120-day waiting period before finalizing your divorce.
Filing for divorce in Wisconsin without a lawyer
Anyone who arrives at the difficult decision of separating from their spouse naturally considers seeking a bit of advice from a divorce lawyer. However, that is not the only option in front of you. Online divorce procedures are an alternative way you can proceed with the divorce without a lawyer in Wisconsin. However, your choice considerably depends upon whether you and your spouse can agree on the central issues and work together towards an amicable settlement.
If you and your spouse can agree on all the essential terms of the separation, then it is certainly possible for you to undertake your divorce process in Wisconsin, saving lots of time and money in the process.
Under what circumstances can you file for divorce without a lawyer?
To file your divorce in Wisconsin, you and your spouse should agree to get an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is where you and your spouse settle all the significant aspects of your separation. This includes:
- Agreeing on child custody if there are children from the marriage — before finalizing the divorce, you and your spouse must come up with a parenting plan, including physical custody (where the children will reside) and legal custody (how significant decisions will be made);
- Reaching an agreement regarding child support, including the amount and duration of child support;
- Sorting out issues regarding alimony or spousal support between the spouses;
- Resolving property division (how all marital property will be divided between spouses) includes savings, retirement funds, assets, other kinds of property, debts, and financial liabilities.
Why online divorce is the way to go
Contrary to the conventional wisdom of relying on lawyers, there are several advantages of undertaking the divorce process without a lawyer. Do-it-yourself or DIY divorce, also known as ProSe Divorce in legal terminology, is filing for divorce without a lawyer. It can save you a considerable amount of money and time.
Below are some of the advantages of filing for divorce over the internet.
- Decrease the cost of divorce significantly:
Hiring a lawyer is an expensive endeavor. On average, contested divorces in the United States cost around $15,000. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, the cost of divorce is a factor that you would have to consider. Moreover, contested divorces often drag on for a long time before any resolution is attained. Considering this scenario, you can only guess how much the legal fees can become.
The situation is not much improved in the case of uncontested divorces. Legal representation still amounts to somewhere between $1500 to $3000, on average. Also, you will have to cough up the filing fees, which in Wisconsin is between $180 to $229. By applying for divorce online, you can diminish the cost of divorce by a considerable degree. The online divorce process is more affordable as you would be doing everything yourself, from preparing the paperwork to filing the divorce papers.
- take control of the proceedings:
If both you and your spouse agree on the dissolution of marriage, you can take control. Instead of waiting in offices and paying visits to the lawyer, you can proceed with your divorce petition, preventing unnecessary delays. You can complete divorce online in a fast and hassle-free manner. Getting an internet divorce is a process that puts you in control, as you can decide when to file and how fast to proceed with the divorce.
- Ease of filing
The process, with or without legal representation, remains the same for getting a divorce in Wisconsin. Therefore, you should do it according to your convenience. By getting a divorce over the internet, you can obtain divorce papers online from the comfort of your home. This is much more convenient for those who work long hours and do not have the time to visit a lawyer’s office. All you have to do is to choose a reliable online divorce website wisconsinonlinedivorce.com. Then answer questions about your marriage’s peculiarities, and the system will complete divorce papers for you. The next step is to print the documents and file them at the Clerk of the Court. You do not need a lawyer to do that for you.
Moreover, Wisconsin is among the few states where the courts allow the couple to file a joint petition. If you and your spouse are having an uncontested divorce, you can submit a joint petition, which simplifies the divorce process even further. Divorce by joint petition is very straightforward for you to understand. You do not need a lawyer to follow the simple process.
How to proceed with a DIY divorce process in Wisconsin?
- First, check whether you meet the requirements for filing a DIY divorce. These include residency requirements of the state and county, as mentioned above, and you and your spouse agree with each other on the terms and conditions of the settlement.
- Second, find one of the most trustworthy online divorce companies and start the cooperation.
- After getting your completed paperwork, you will receive instructions for filing the documents with the court. Make sure that there are no mistakes or false/misleading information in your paperwork. This could get your petition rejected.
- Lastly, print your documents, sign them (remember that certain forms must be signed in the presence of a notary), and file them at the Clerk of the Court.
Getting a divorce online is a cost-effective, time-saving process. Moreover, you can take control of your divorce process without relying on an attorney by going the DIY divorce route. However, to undertake the divorce process all by yourself, you must be able to detach yourself emotionally from the process. Suppose you do not think that you are in the proper physical and emotional state to perform the formalities rationally. In that case, you should refrain from DIY divorce and consider hiring an attorney.