Grounds for Divorce in Wisconsin

Learn about the grounds for divorce from award-winning Wisconsin family law attorneys

We get it. Making the decision to file for a divorce can be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Learn the common reasons why others like you have filed for divorce in Wisconsin below.

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Will the reasons behind your divorce be accepted?

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The information provided does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Talk to a lawyer today for legal advice

Divorce is never an easy decision, and we understand the complications that come with the many facets included in divorcing your spouse. As you begin considering filing for divorce, you may be concerned about the legitimacy of your reasons for wanting to divorce your spouse. When thinking about these reasons, a common question our clients often ask is, “will the reasons behind my divorce be accepted and will my divorce be finalized?”

The best thing you can do when the decision has been made to move forward with a divorce is to contact an attorney to help iron out any of the initial details. Our lawyers at Karp & Iancu have been working with clients for 45 years, and are well versed in helping clients process the information that goes along with filing. We understand that there are likely many reasons you want to file for divorce, and we will help guide you through the process from start to finish.

Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage

First and foremost, we want to make sure you are aware that Wisconsin is a no-fault state for divorce. What that means is you don’t need a specific reason for a divorce. You just need to be able to state that there was an irretrievable breakdown of marriage.

In addition, you should also know that an irretrievable breakdown of marriage is the only option for Wisconsin residents seeking a divorce. While fault states may require a reason, such as infidelity or abuse, Wisconsin doesn’t allow other reasons to be brought forward. While you may include these details in your case to help you gain custody, for example, they won’t be the sole grounds for divorce.

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Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state which means you don't need a specific reason to get a divorce. To fast-track the divorce process, schedule a confidential consultation or complete the form below.


Build evidence & case

Sometimes, no one's at fault and life's twists and turns take us in a new direction. You focus on rebuilding the new you, we'll prepare the information needed to move the process along.


File for divorce

We'll file a petition so it can be reviewed by your local county courthouse.

Your Spouse Can Delay the Divorce

While you don’t need grounds to divorce your spouse, your spouse can delay the proceedings. That means that your divorce could be stretched out for longer than you hoped. If you’re concerned that your spouse may take such action, reach out to a lawyer for help with your case.

If your spouse disputes that your marriage is irretrievably broken, you may need to prove your claim. You may need to provide evidence that you haven’t lived together in the past year. If you don’t have this evidence, the judge may decide to grant an extension and recommend counseling.

Fortunately, this postponement isn’t a permanent answer. The case will be adjourned for sixty days, after which you may return and move forward with the proceedings.

Seek Help for Your Divorce

If you’re seeking a divorce, you might be unsure where to start. If you are struggling to identify a reason for your divorce that you think the court will recognize, reach out to us for a confidential, 1-hour consultation by filing out the form below, or giving us a call. We will talk through some of your fears or issues and be able to put together a plan moving forward that you are comfortable with. Feel free to check out our FAQ page for more commonly asked questions.

We take pride in knowing the ins and outs of all things family law

Outside of helping our clients end their marriage productively and efficiently, we've also won awards for cases involving the following practice areas of family law in Wisconsin:

Alimony & Maintenance

Marriage isn’t always equal—and neither is divorce. You may have made unequal caretaking or financial contributions to the family. We will help you fight to make sure those contributions are acknowledged and compensated.

More about alimony

Child Custody & Visitation

Learn whether sole custody or joint custody is best for your children and find a visitation schedule that will work for your family.

More about child custody

Child Relocation

Do you have questions about where you can relocate your children in the state of Wisconsin? We can help you understand the laws surrounding relocating a child.

More about child relocation

Child Support

When you’re a parent going through a divorce, your first concern is likely your children. Our lawyers are experts in guiding clients through the options available. We understand your top priority is making sure your children are taken care of.

More about child support

Property & Assets

When you’re facing a division of marital property, it can be tough to ensure you’ll get a fair share of the assets. We’ll work with you to determine what is and is not part of the marital estate and will help you claim what is rightfully yours.

More about assets


Divorce is difficult & exhausting, but it's not devastating or complicated with the right attorneys on your side.

Our Approach to Divorce

Legal Separation

An alternative to divorce that still allows you to define your rights to your children and finances while claiming your independence.

More about legal separation

Military Divorce

We've been helping clients navigate the complex Wisconsin military divorce laws for decades.

More about military divorce


Whether paternity is established by acknowledgement or only after genetic tests, we are here to help you through the process from start to finish.

More about paternity

Meet our award-winning Wisconsin family law & divorce attorneys