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Bucher Law Group, LLC

What Are My Options for Ending My Marriage in Wisconsin?

Posted on in Divorce/Family Law

Wisconsin divorce lawyerEnding a marriage is a big step for any couple, but this is especially true for couples who have been together for years. Even if you know that your marriage is not working and that neither of you is particularly happy, you may not be ready to officially divorce. Perhaps, for financial reasons, you cannot afford to divorce your spouse, but you know you cannot stay married either. Or maybe, unbeknownst to you, your spouse was actually married to another person when you got married to him or her. In situations such as these, it may be worth looking into other options for your marriage. Wisconsin recognizes three separate actions for dealing with legal marital issues: annulment, legal separation, and divorce. Although they are fairly similar, they do have separate requirements and outcomes. 

Annulment

If you have your marriage annulled, you are asking to have your marriage legally erased, as if it never happened. Annulment is a process that is only done in very limited circumstances. To get an annulment, you must meet at least one requirement outlined in Wisconsin’s laws. Grounds that qualify for annulment include:

  • You or your spouse lacked the capacity to consent to the marriage as a result of mental illness, intellectual disability, drug or alcohol use, or through the use of force or duress.

  • You or your spouse were unable to consummate the marriage through sexual intercourse and the other spouse was unaware of this condition prior to the marriage.

  • One or both of you were under the age of 18 when you were married and lacked the consent of your parent or guardian.

  • The marriage is otherwise prohibited by Wisconsin law.

Legal Separation and Divorce

Divorce and legal separation are two different processes; however, they do tend to be very similar to one another when it comes to the legal side of things. What many people do not know is that the process and paperwork to get a legal separation is actually nearly identical to that of divorce. Unlike annulment, you do not have to give a reason as to why you are petitioning for a divorce or legal separation. The only reason that is recognized by courts now is irreconcilable differences.

You will discuss maintenance payments and if you have minor children, you will also address child placement, legal custody, and child support payments. However, the difference between getting a divorce and a legal separation is, when all is said and done at the end of the separation process, you are still legally married to your spouse. However, you can turn your separation into divorce at any time.

Contact a Racine County Family Law Attorney

If you have thought about ending your marriage with your spouse, you may be unsure of your legal options. With a plethora of information available out there, it can all feel a little overwhelming — that is where the folks at the Bucher Law Group, LLC come in. Our compassionate and knowledgeable Waukesha County divorce lawyers are here to help you through this stressful time in your life. We offer free initial consultations to discuss your situation and get started with a plan of action. To schedule one today, call our office today at 262-303-4916.

 

Sources:

https://www.racinecounty.com/government/clerk-of-circuit-court/family-court/annulment-vs-divorce-vs-legal-separation

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/767/IV/313

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