File for Divorce in Rock County, Wisconsin (WI) | Divorce in Rock County

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Online Divorce in Rock County

divorce in Rock County

Please note: in Rock County, Wisconsin, is a divorce document preparation service, not a law firm. Online Divorce is not eligible to provide legal advice. All the information below is for informational purposes only.

Each US state follows its own marriage and divorce laws with legal nuances varying from county to county. Although Wisconsin State Law provides a basic structure for divorce, it can differ somewhat for each of the state’s 72 counties. That is why couples on the brink of a divorce appreciate some help with the intricacies of family law in Rock County.

Nowadays, many married couples getting a divorce are well aware that they do not necessarily need to hire an attorney to file a divorce petition at a local courthouse. You can choose to have a DIY divorce, which is usually a fast, cheap, and simple way to get divorced and rather inexpensive.

To do so, you need two things. First, make sure that you and your spouse agree to have an uncontested divorce. No contest means that the spouses are able to iron out their differences before they go to the court. Besides, an uncontested divorce is the easiest way to get a divorce in Rock County because a divorce case does not go to trial and does not take longer time.

Second, educate yourself on nuances and intricacies of the divorce process in Rock County. In this, you will need some guidance with completing the divorce paperwork.

If you are pursuing a divorce by yourself, it is important to have a general grasp of what is ahead of you in terms of court proceedings and completing the necessary paperwork. Choosing to proceed without a lawyer, you must familiarize yourself with court procedures, family law, and the average cost and length of divorce process.

Even if you know all the steps to do your own divorce, you can still seek legal aid or hire an attorney for some specific tasks (e.g. marital settlement agreement). The general rule of thumb is that the fewer ties the spouses have, the easier their divorce is. If you have no minor children and very few marital assets, there is basically nothing that needs to be divided. So handling the divorce paperwork and court proceedings on your own, without an attorney, will be pretty easy.

It is important to note that although court staff can help you with completing the court forms, they cannot give you legal advice. To assist you with legal issues, the Wisconsin courthouse has a self-help law center where litigants can learn about Wisconsin law and court procedures. is a reputable service that assists couples in Wisconsin to complete divorce paperwork online. Using this website, you will receive a printable packet of completed divorce forms valid for Rock County, along with step-by-step instructions on how to file the papers. follows changes in local rules and Family Law in each state, so the forms you get will be up-to-date and valid per the requirements of the Wisconsin Statute. As an online document preparation service, has become an inexpensive solution for hundreds of couples in Rock County, WI.

By choosing as the fastest way to get a divorce in Rock County, WI, it does not mean that you can avoid the mandatory waiting period of 120 days. Rather, you get qualified help and written instruction on how to get your divorce papers completed online. It is definitely an easy start. However, how quickly and efficiently the finalization of your divorce occurs will depend on the details of your case and divorce proceedings.

Please note that Rock County currently requires all petitioners who seek divorce to file their documents electronically. That is why if you want to file your divorce paperwork without an attorney, will provide you with only relevant and correct legal forms completed with the knowledge of unique rules of Rock County.

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Valid grounds to get divorce in Rock County

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As a no-fault state, Wisconsin does not require couples to find grounds for divorce and thus prove any reason for seeking it. The spouses can simply state “irretrievably broken marriage” and/or “irreconcilable differences” and that is enough for the judge to start the case. Another no-fault option is to file for divorce after a year of legal separation.

If you are in a situation where your spouse committed adultery, acted violently against you and/or your child, abused drugs and alcohol, or contributed to the breakdown of the marriage in any other way, you can inform the court about such behaviors and try to use it as a leverage in child custody, child support, or maintenance. Although there are cases when Wisconsin courts consider fault-based grounds for divorce, litigants who go this route will need legal representatives.

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Custody of the child in Rock County

Custody of the child in Rock County

Child custody and placement is regulated by the Wisconsin State Legislature Code Section 767.401.

Following the best interests of the child, Wisconsin courts usually award joint custody to both parents, except in cases when one party is deemed unfit due to mental health issues or imprisonment. In this case, the other party will have sole custody.

Wisconsin Family Law distinguishes between legal custody and physical placement of the child. Wisconsin courts typically award physical placement to the parent who has spent more time with and provided more care to the child. The gender of the parent has no bearing for the judge’s ruling, as Wisconsin courts follow a gender-neutral approach. Legal custody means the rights to make important decisions for the children, such as where to go to school, how to practice religion, and whether to allow the child to obtain a driver’s license. Wisconsin courts usually give joint legal custody to both parents.

If both parties agree, Rock County courts typically grant the parents custody and placement according to the signed and notarized Marital Settlement Agreement.

If the parties are unable to agree on child custody, Rock County judges make a decision based on the wishes of the parents and the child, on family dynamics and relationships, the child’s age and developmental and educational needs, the parents’ ability to cooperate and communicate, and other relevant considerations.

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Rules for child support in Rock County

Either or both parents must pay child support until the child reaches the age of 18. Child support payments typically cover food, transportation, personal care, clothing, tuition, and other reasonable child care expenses.

According to Wisconsin State Legislature Code Section 49.22(9), the court calculates the amount of child support based on a percentage of the gross income and assets of either or both parents. Based on the Percentage Standard guideline (17% for one child; 25% for two children; 29% for three children; 31 % for four children; 34% for five or more children) and the amount of time spent with the child by each parent, Rock County courts calculate the 50/50 Child Support formula.

Rules for spousal support in Rock County

Rules for spousal support in Rock County

It is possible to get spousal maintenance, or alimony, in Rock County, if the circumstances of the spouses meet the requirements listed in Wisconsin Statute 7667.56.

A spouse seeking maintenance from the other party may apply for maintenance. Depending on the spouses’ income, the court may order maintenance for a limited length of time or permanently, paid as one sum or on a regular basis.

To determine whether maintenance should be determined, the court considers the length of the marriage, the division of assets and debts, each spouse’s age, health, education, each spouse’s tax consequences, custodial responsibilities, and other relevant considerations.

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Property division in Rock County

Property division in Rock County

How is property divided after divorce? In Rock County, it is regulated by the Wisconsin Statute Code Section 767.61

As a community property state, Wisconsin recognizes each spouse’s right to separate property (which is property or funds obtained before marriage, and gifts or inheritance obtained at any time). Community property purchased or obtained during the marriage is split equally. The court can warrant an unequal distribution in a number of cases.

Overall, the Rock County court will take into consideration the separate property each spouse has, each spouse’s contribution to the marriage, age, health, education and training, earning capacity, spousal maintenance, the tax consequences, insurance and pension plans, and any other relevant factors.

Spouses can divide assets on their own. However, they should detail the division for the court in the marital settlement agreement and explain what property or the value of that property that each spouse gets.

Mediation support in Rock County

Mediation is the involvement of a third party to help the spouses reach an agreement on major divorce-related matters. Mediation helps couples amicably iron out their difficulties prior to court hearings.

Hiring mediators is a more affordable option than hiring an attorney. However, couples can have both mediators and attorneys participate in mediation discussions to ensure their best interests are met.

How to file for divorce in Rock County | Step-by-Step


Make sure you are eligible. Before you start any divorce procedural actions make sure that either you or your spouse meets the residency requirements.
Wisconsin Divorce Laws regulate eligibility for divorce in Chapter 767.001 of Wisconsin State Legislature. Code Section 767.05 (1m) requires either of the spouses to be the resident of Wisconsin State for at least 6 months and a resident of Rock County for at least 30 days before filing the paperwork.
The spouse who meets the residency requirements should file the paperwork and is referred to as the Petitioner. Make sure you are eligible


Decide who will file for divorce. You have two options: one of you can complete the forms and file the divorce petition alone, or you and your spouse can file the divorce petition jointly.
If you choose to file on your own, you must complete the Summons, Petition, Confidential Petition Addendum, and Financial Disclosure Statement.
If you file together with your spouse, you must complete the Joint Petition form, Confidential Petition Addendum, and Financial Disclosure Statement.
Make sure that you use the court forms for Rock County, because official forms can differ from county to county. You are advised to complete the forms on a computer. If you cannot use a computer, make sure your handwriting is neat and legible.
Note that couples with children must complete a different set of forms. Decide who will file for divorce


Decide if you need temporary orders. If you and your spouse cannot agree on how you are going to pay bills and take care of the children and property while the divorce is pending, you can request the court to place temporary orders and thus determine temporary custody, support, placement, bank accounts and property, etc. If that is your case, you need to complete an Order to Show Cause and Affidavit for Temporary Order and request a temporary hearing before the Family Court Commissioner.
Usually a request for temporary orders is filed together with the divorce papers. However, it can be done later, during the 120-day waiting period. Decide if you need temporary orders


File the documents with the court. After you have completed the forms, you should make two copies of each. Bring all three sets of documents to the Circuit Court of Rock County. The Rock County Clerk of Courts will assign your divorce case a number, file your Petition, and stamp all your copies. Keep one copy for yourself and serve the other copy to your spouse.
At the time of the filing for divorce, you will have to pay a filing fee or enclose a Waiver of Fees and Court Costs with the court clerk.
Note that the 120-day waiting period starts when the divorce paperwork is filed. After the 120-day waiting period, your divorce can be finalized. File the documents with the court


If you filed the joined petition, you skip this step. If you filed for divorce alone, you have 90 days to serve your spouse with the papers. You need to assemble the copies of the documents that you filed with the court (the summons, petition for divorce, confidential petition addendum, and proposed parenting plan) and find a way to serve them on your spouse.
If your spouse hires an attorney, you can deliver the divorce papers to your spouse’s attorney’s office. However, if your spouse does not have an attorney, you should make sure that he or she is served directly. This can be done by anybody over the age of 18 besides you or your children.
When serving your spouse directly, make sure you get proof of service. Here is how to serve your spouse:

-  Ask one of your friends or relatives who is over 18 to deliver the divorce papers to your spouse and bring you back the Acceptance of Service signed by your spouse.

-  Send the papers using First Class Mail or Certified Mail. As soon as your spouse gets the mail, he or she will sign and return an acknowledgment form or a return receipt.

-  Hire a professional process server or a sheriff. They will fill out a proof of service and bring it to you.

-  Arrange for serving by publication. If you cannot locate your spouse, you must request the court to allow you to publish service. After the notice has run in the newspaper for three weeks, you can file the newspaper notice and a statement as proof of service. If your spouse fails to respond, you are entitled to have a default divorce.

After you obtain proof of service, you file it with the Rock County Clerk of Courts.
Then your spouse files a response to your divorce petition. If you filed the joined petition, you skip this step


Start Working on a Marital Settlement Agreement and Parenting Plan. If you have minor children, use the 120-day waiting period to complete the required parenting class, have mediation (if necessary), and file the required Parenting Plan.
According to Wisconsin Family Law Code Section 767.401, the court and the parents must be guided by “the best interests of the child.” That is why the court requires a parenting class to offset the effects of a divorce on a child.
Also, each of the spouses, on their own or together, must submit a parenting plan where they detail how they see their interaction with the child, who is going to be a custodial parent, how child support is covered, and other child-related matters.
Similarly, each of the spouses, on their own or together, must prepare a marital settlement agreement where they detail how they will deal with marital property division, debts allocation, support, and pension/insurance division. Start Working on a Marital Settlement Agreement and Parenting Plan


Get ready for a hearing. First, obtain a date and time for a hearing. Approach the Rock County Clerk of Courts and find out if the court automatically schedules the next hearing. If not, ask when you should contact the court to schedule the next hearing. In some counties, uncontested divorces have only one hearing, which may be the final hearing.
Next, complete all your paperwork for the hearing. By this time you should complete a Marital Settlement Agreement or a Proposed Marital Settlement Order (if you and your spouse could not agree on some issues); a Financial Disclosure Statement and Income Tax returns; Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Judgment of Divorce; and Vital Statistics Form (from the Clerk of Circuit Court office). Get ready for a hearing


Attend your final hearing. Arrive at the courthouse at the date and time of your final hearing and bring your paperwork. Dress business casual and be polite. If the judge approves your Marital Settlement Agreement, it means that you are granted the dissolution of marriage and your divorce is finalized.
After the final hearing complete any other documents required. For example, change beneficiaries on pension plans and life insurance policies and/or revise your will. Attend your final hearing

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Filing fees for divorce in Rock County

Although the price of a divorce in Rock County can vary depending on whether or not you hire an attorney, filing fees are more or less the same all over the state. In Wisconsin, filing fees range from about $175 to $188. However, keep in mind that there is a filing fee for each document and receipt you need to file after the initial filing for divorce.

If you cannot afford to pay the filing fees, ask the court clerk for a fee waiver and file it together with your paperwork.

How long will it take?

Given that the state of Wisconsin has a mandatory 120-day waiting period, you can expect to finalize your divorce in Rock County after that time expires. However, it can be done only under the condition that all your paperwork is completed correctly and all divorce-related issues are settled and resolved. On average the divorce process in Rock County, Wisconsin takes 4-6 months.

Note that in Rock County, WI the divorce timeline starts from the date of serving the other spouse with the papers.

Filing for divorce in Rock County | Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does A Divorce Cost In Rock County?
Although filing fees typically do not exceed $188 in Rock County, the cost of divorce can go up to $12,000-$25,000 if you hire an attorney and file for a contested divorce. When thinking about your expenditures on the divorce process, factor in legal and mediation fees, service and publication fees, house appraisal and property evaluation fees, etc.

How Do You File For Divorce In Rock County Without A Lawyer?
You have two options. You can go to a local courthouse and obtain court forms to complete on your own. Or you request to have your legal forms for your uncontested Rock County divorce done with the assistance of

What Forms Are Required For An Uncontested Divorce In Rock County?
Couples without children fill out and file the Summons without Minor Children, Petition without Minor Children, Confidential Petition Addendum, and Financial Disclosure Statement. Then the other spouse (the Respondent) completes the Response and Counterclaim, Admission of Service (if the spouse was served with the papers by mail), and Financial Disclosure Statement.
Couples with children fill out and file the Summons with Minor Children, Petition with Minor Children, Confidential Petition Addendum, Proposed Parenting Plan, and Financial Disclosure Statement. Then the other spouse (the Respondent) completes the Response and Counterclaim, Admission of Service, Proposed Parenting Plan, and Financial Disclosure Statement.

Can I file for legal separation in Rock County?
Yes, Wisconsin allows married couples to file for legal separation instead of divorce. This way, a couple gets an opportunity to live separately and keep all their affairs separately (child custody, spousal support, property division) but remain married officially. The legal procedure is similar to filing for divorce and requires the petitioner to provide necessary documents and forms and serve the spouse.

When is it allowed to remarry after a divorce?
Wisconsin has a 6-month waiting period after divorce is finalized and before the divorced spouses are allowed to remarry.

Divorce in Rock County online

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Divorce Courts in Rock County, Wisconsin

Rock County Circuit Court
Judge Name:
James P. Daley
Clerk Name:
Jacki Gackstatter
Court Address:
51 South Main Street, Janesville, Wisconsin 53545
Clerk Hours:
Office Hours: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PMWindows Open: 8:00 AM - 4:45 PM