Because of this law, many people who are considering divorce, who have been married for seven or eight years, will separate until they cross the 10-year threshold. Once the separation is final, you and your spouse can buy property, buy debts and sign contracts as unmarried people. If both parties mutually agree that a separation should be converted to divorce, a court will usually allow couples to proceed with the dissolution process. In Wisconsin, parties are not required to explain to the court why they want a separation; However, litigants must testify in court that they believe the conjugal relationship has broken down. Conversely, proof that a marriage has been irretrievably broken is grounds for divorce in the state. After a legal separation decision has been issued, either party may ask the court to convert the judgment into a divorce after a one-year waiting period. The other party does not necessarily have to agree to the court granting this request. On the other hand, if a couple decides that they want a divorce after getting a legal separation, it can be done in two ways. The first option would be for the couple to convert their legal separation into divorce through a joint agreement, which is an easier way that doesn`t require extra waiting time. However, you never have to go through a divorce. Many couples choose to stay apart long-term and never divorce to enjoy some of the benefits of marriage. During a separation, a couple files a petition with the local county court where they live. The couple then goes through a preliminary hearing process that addresses issues such as property division and child support.
Once all outstanding issues have been resolved, the court may issue a judgment on legal separation. First, the couple can convert their separation into a divorce through a joint agreement. This is the easiest way to complete the conversion. It allows for a relatively quick and easy process without the need for waiting time. Alternatively, if only one member of the couple wishes to convert a separation into a divorce, that spouse may file an application for conversion. However, if only one party requests conversion, the documents may be filed no earlier than one year after the registration of the judgment of legal separation. Couples seeking to convert should also be aware that they will not be able to remarry for at least six months after the new divorce decree is signed. In addition, a simple conversion from separation to divorce does not alter the fundamental division of property and custody under the separation order. If either person is requesting substantive amendments, they must instead file a separate application to vary the judgment. If a couple decides, after a separation decision, that divorce is the best option, they can go back to court and file for divorce instead. There are two ways to turn a separation into a divorce.
References:  Wisconsin Statute 767.315, Grounds for divorce and legal separation ,  Revocation of judgment,  Ex-spouse Protection Act,  Tax Law,  Wisconsin County Circuit Court Forms When deciding whether or not you and your spouse should apply for a legal separation, it is important to know that: what legal separation really is. and what it means for you and your spouse to move forward. Legal separation and physical separation are often confused. Legal separation is a process that goes through the Wisconsin court system and results in a change in the marital status of both spouses. This means that the couple is no longer considered married for matrimonial property, debt accumulation and tax filing purposes. Finally, some couples have certain circumstances that limit their ability to divorce. For example, a spouse may have a very serious medical condition for which he or she needs treatment. If she receives health insurance through her husband, she may not be able to give up that insurance in the event of divorce. A legal separation allows the couple to physically separate without either spouse having to give up an important safety net such as health insurance. Similar to divorce, legal separation under Wisconsin law helps resolve problems related to marriage. However, the legal function of a separation does so without a literal divorce or dissolution of marriage.
As part of the process, a separating couple can discuss and resolve issues related to their marriage, including those related to children, asset division issues, debt discharge, and other similar issues. But all this is done without official dissolution of marriage. For example, a family with minor children could mean that divorce is more expensive because of child placement, child support, alimony, and property division issues. Legal separation allows a couple to remain married and retain the financial benefits of marriage while still being able to live a separate life. An absolute divorce completely dissolves the marriage. Once a couple is divorced, many workplace health plans exclude coverage for the employee`s ex-spouse. Wisconsin is a community-owned state, which means that all assets, debts, and real estate are divided equally between the spouses at the time of divorce. If it can be definitively demonstrated that the property has been kept completely separate from the matrimonial property, it could potentially be retained by the owning party. Wisconsin has no limit to how long you can maintain your separate status. Once the separation is filed, the parties cannot convert it into a divorce for one year, unless mutually agreed.
After this period, either party can convert the separation into a divorce without the permission of the other party. If the couple agrees, the court can set aside the legal separation order and revoke all orders relating to child support, alimony and custody. Legal separation and divorce follow very similar processes. Both spouses separate financially and have custody, housing and child support orders. However, while separation leaves the marriage intact, divorce completely dissolves the legal relationship between the two spouses. The summons and application must be selected depending on whether or not you are filing together and whether or not minor children are involved. These forms can be found on our Wisconsin Divorce and Separation Forms page or on the Wisconsin County Court website. Spousal support, also known as spousal support, refers to the payment made by one spouse to the other after a divorce is concluded. Spousal support is intended to ensure that both spouses can maintain their standard of living after divorce.
The second option is useful if only one of the spouses wants to convert the separation into a divorce. That spouse would then file an application for conversion. It should be mentioned that if only one spouse requests conversion, the documents can be filed no earlier than one year after the legal separation is granted. Although adultery is technically a crime in Wisconsin, it has not been charged since 1990 and will not be considered in any divorce proceedings because Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state on its part. During the legal separation process, assets and liabilities are divided in the same way as divorce proceedings. Couples can choose to separate in order to continue filing taxes together and receive military benefits for the spouse. To file for separation or divorce, one of the spouses must have lived in Wisconsin for 6 months or more. As with divorce, there is a 120-day waiting period between the time the action is filed and the last hearing. Ultimately, separating a couple due to a failed relationship may be an appropriate solution for some. However, formal divorce proceedings might be a better option for others. If you`d like to learn more about your legal options for a specific family law topic, take the time to talk to a family law lawyer. For many Wisconsin couples, the first step in assessing whether a marriage is possible dissolution is legal separation.
This gives individuals the opportunity to consider the possibility of ending a marriage without going through the entire divorce process. For some, separation makes it clear that marriage is a relationship they want to pursue, while others make the decision to move from separation to divorce. At Reddin & Singer, LLP, our Milwaukee divorce attorney can help you with the details of this transition. You will then file the application and deportation order in the same court where you originally applied for separation. A copy of the legal separation order must be attached and a filing fee must be paid before your application is accepted. Legal separation is usually the best choice for couples who acknowledge that their marriage has broken up but are still considering the possibility of reconciliation. It is possible to annul the legal separation simply by revoking the judgment. Marriages lasting more than 10 years entitle a divorced spouse who has not remarried to social security benefits equal to the highest of the following benefits (for spouses with a lower salary): Any couple who opt for legal separation instead of divorce does not make the decision solely for financial reasons. Some couples remain separated for religious reasons in order to adhere to religious rules and customs that are important to them.