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What Is A Contested Divorce?


Couples often get divorced when they can agree only one on thing: that they don’t want to be married anymore. However, there are many decisions that go into the dissolution of a marriage. A contested divorce is a divorce in which the court makes these difficult decisions for you based on the evidence you present.

Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state, which means there is no need to prove anyone did anything wrong to cause the end of a marriage. Only one party must testify under oath that the union is “irrevocably broken,” meaning there is no chance for reconciliation. Once that is established, if the couple can’t agree on the terms of the separation, the court steps in to do it for them.

A contested divorce will affect each step of the divorce process:

  • Marital settlement agreement: Disputing parties can complete all sections concerning areas of the divorce in which they agree. Leave disputed sections blank. If neither party agrees, or one refuses to participate, each party should fill out the form to indicate how they would like to see the issues resolved.
  • Proposed parenting plan: If both parties cannot agree on physical or legal custody of the children, a proposed parenting plan is required.
  • Pre-trial conference: If there are still disputed matters at the pre-trial conference, the judge may order mediation, assign both parties to Family Court Counseling Services, or assign a guardian ad litem to represent the best interests of the children.
  • Divorce/legal separation trial: Both parties must bring evidence with them to trial to help them make the case for their preferred outcome. They must also bring documents relating to all debts and assets. The judge will decide all remaining issues. Each task must be completed correctly in a predetermined time frame, and if you fail to meet the requirements, you risk your divorce case being dismissed and having to start over. This is why most individuals retain a Milwaukee family law attorney for a contested divorce case.

If you are party to a contested divorce, you need an attorney who can represent your interests. Call the Karp & Iancu, S.C. Firm to represent you.

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