Answering Your Questions About Divorce

Do I need a lawyer for my divorce?
Even divorces that appear to have minimal conflict can be very complicated. While you and your spouse may appear to be in agreement on the major issues, difficulties often arise during discussions about assets, such as investment accounts and other property division. It is very important that you have an attorney experienced in family law on your side to review any settlement and make sure that your interests are protected throughout the divorce process.

How long does a divorce take?
The length of a divorce depends on many factors, the most common factors include:

  • Whether or not you and your spouse agree on property division
  • Custody issues
  • Jurisdiction (where you file for divorce)

In Wisconsin, a divorce cannot be granted until at least 120 days have passed after the divorce action was filed with the court and served upon the other party.

How does property division work in a divorce?
Wisconsin is a community property state, which means that all property is either classified as "community property" or "separate property." In most cases, community property is defined as property that was acquired during the marriage; however, property acquired by a single spouse by gift or inheritance is not considered community property. Instead, property acquired by a spouse as a gift or inheritance during their marriage, as well as property that was acquired before marriage, is generally classified as separate property.

Don't let these two classifications fool you! The definitions might seem easy but division can be a very complicated process, especially when things like bank accounts or other property have been commingled throughout a marriage.

Will I get alimony (also known as maintenance) from my spouse?
That depends; each court has its own method to determine how much should be paid, to whom, and for how long. Courts will consider things such as the disposable income of the parties, the standard of living that the parties enjoyed during the marriage, as well as the ability each spouse has to provide for their own needs. It is important to consult with an experienced divorce attorney when trying to answer alimony questions.

How much does a divorce cost?
The cost of divorce can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the issues and the cooperation received from each side. For example, cases involving child custody or complex business divisions tend to be more expensive. In contrast, cases where the spouses agree on the majority of the major issues are often much cheaper.

At Hannula Halom & Scherz, we do everything possible to keep your costs down. We pride ourselves in our ability to work with other attorneys, as well as your spouse, in a collaborative manor that reduces conflict and keeps your costs as low as possible.

Got More Questions?

To learn more about working with us during the divorce process, we invite you to schedule a free consultation by calling 715-718-3621. Our office is located in Superior, and we work with clients throughout our neighboring communities in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota.