Spouses planning to divorce under the laws of the state of Wisconsin must file a petition for divorce with the Wisconsin Circuit Court in the county in which one of the spouses are a resident. (If both or either one of the spouses are in the military service, please consult with Attorney Brandau regarding your filing requirements).
A petition for divorce should not be taken lightly. It is that document that determines the immediate and temporary order of the court. Often times, it also weighs heavily in the court's final order.
The petition for divorce will serve several purposes. It will begin the waiting period (120 days) required by Wisconsin law before a court may grant a divorce. The clock only begins running after the petition is filed.
A petition for divorce will result in an order from the court. That temporary order legally separates spouses. At that point, the spouses must physically separate. The court will enter a temporary order that will temporarily grant the right to occupy the family dwelling, whether that is a home or an apartment.
The court will also order the temporary legal custody and physical placement of the couple's child(ren), and who is to pay support, as well as the amount of child support or family support to be paid.
Lastly, the court will address all other marital property, such as bank accounts, credit cards, and payments to mortgage companies and loan institutes. The court will instruct both spouses to refrain from incurring debt while the divorce is pending. This last instruction is your only financial safeguard to prevent your spouse from running up debt during the "legal separation" or incurring other obligations. Without a legal separation, any debt and all assets are marital property. It is only through court order that debts can be considered as belonging to one or other spouse.
Legal separations are not irreversible. If the spouses decide not to divorce, the court will recognize their wishes and dismiss the petition for divorce, which will have the same effect on the court's orders legally separating the spouses. Just as Wisconsin recognizes a marriage as always having been under the laws of Wisconsin if ever treated as such, so the law recognizes legal separations. If the petition for divorce is dismissed, any debts incurred while the couple were separated will be marital debts.
The important things to be aware of regarding legal separation are that it is a result of a petition for divorce, and it is only protection a spouse as against undesirable debt. It is imperative for the petition for divorce to be carefully constructed and considered, even though it is only temporary.
Attorney Ann I. Brandau has represented hundreds of people in divorce actions in the state of Wisconsin, and in that time, she has masterfully constructed petitions for divorce that have resulted in court orders protecting the family assets while the divorce was pending.
For more than thirty combined years, Attorney Ann Brandau & Attorney Peter Waltz, the founders of the law offices of Brandau & Waltz have helped people across Wisconsin and Minnesota find workable, reliable, and effective solutions to their family law, divorce, custody, support, injury, worker's compensation, social security and other legal problems.
Brandau & Waltz Law Offices, LLP is pleased to present their new website, developed in cooperation with Sigma One Group of Wisconsin, which highlights particular noteworthy mentions about the areas of law in which the lawyers at Brandau & Waltz practice.
Please contact us whenever we may help you find a solution to your legal issue.
Attorney Ann Brandau represents people in family law matters (such as divorce, custody, support and modifications to court orders) in Western Wisconsin and Southeast Minnesota. She appears in County Circuit Courts in La Crosse, Monroe, Jackson, Vernon, Trempealeau, and Richland, Wisconsin, as well as Minnesota Courts in Houston, Winona, Wabasha, Olmsted and Fillmore Counties. Attorney Brandau frequently represents military personnel, and residents of La Crosse, Tomah, New Lisbon, Mauston, Elroy, Hillsboro, Richland Center, Muscoda, Boscobel, Prairie du Chien, Viroqua, Westby, Sparta, Black River Falls, Whitehall, Alma, Blair, Onalaska, West Salem, La Crescent, Caledonia, Lansing, Spring Grove, Rushford, Preston, Spring Valley, Stewartville, Rochester, Eyota, St. Charles, Lewiston, Lakeville, Holmen, Dakota, Hokah, Witoka, Cannon Falls, Zumbrota, Pine Island, Byan and Kasson.
Brandau & Waltz Law Offices, LLP : 420 5th Avenue South, Suite B : La Crosse Wisconsin 54602
T: (608) 784-2050 : 1-866-390-8047 : Fax: (608) 784-2120 : E-mail
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