Frequently Asked Questions

When considering divorce:

How long will my divorce take?

Wisconsin law requires that divorcing couples wait four months from the commencement of the action before a judgment can be granted.  This is meant to be an opportunity for the parties to be sure they really want to be divorced.  In reality, for most couples, the work involved in resolving all terms of the divorce will take from six to nine months.  Very complex or difficult cases could take more than a year to complete.

Where can I get the money to pay for legal fees to start a divorce action?

Either party may access any individual or joint accounts to draw funds needed to retain an attorney or pay the court fees.  If no accounts are available, either party may draw on available credit to do so, through a credit card, home equity line of credit, or personal loan, for example. 

Should I tell my spouse that I plan to file for divorce?

In most cases it is best to let your spouse know that you will be seeing a lawyer and filing for divorce, and that they can expect to receive papers soon after.  However, in some cases, it may be best to file and serve your spouse without notice so as to protect your personal safety or access to financial assets to enable you to commence the action.  Always talk to your attorney before making this decision.

Should I move out of the family home while my divorce is pending?

There are sometimes irreversible consequences of leaving home including impact on custody and property issues.  This decision should not be made without consulting your attorney.  However, if there is a risk of domestic violence, measures should immediately be taken to protect yourself and your family from potential harm.