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Disclaimer: Online Divorce is not a law firm and its services, website and forms are not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Online Divorce provides access to computer-aided self-help services at your specific direction. Online Divorce's website and written instructions provide general information about the divorce process only; we cannot give you any specific advice, opinions or recommendations as to your selection or completion of forms or your particular legal rights, remedies or options. OnlineDivorce.com is a website that provides access to self-guided online questionnaires. Online Divorce does not sell blank forms. You may be able to download blank forms from a government website depending on your state.

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by Jamie Kurtz

Jamie Kurtz has been a practicing divorce lawyer since 2008. She received her Juris Doctorate from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles in 2007. Ms. Kurtz was selected to Rising Stars for 2013 - 2016, 2019 - 2020, a peer designation awarded only to a select number of accomplished attorneys in each state. She also co-founded a law firm that specializes in uncontested divorce cases.

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Online Divorce in Wisconsin

divorce in Wisconsin

For those seeking an inexpensive divorce in the state of Wisconsin, online divorce is an easy, affordable and fast solution. Online divorce may be appropriate for couples who have an uncontested case. The step-by-step process of preparing divorce documents at Onlinedivorce.com makes it easy on you. We help prepare all of the necessary divorce forms and provide detailed written instructions on how to file your divorce in Wisconsin.

Our divorce documents preparation service can be a perfect solution for those who want to have their divorce papers completed quickly and stress-free. Even though Wisconsin has unique divorce forms and filing requirements, our online system can provide you with exactly what you need and provide instructions on how to file. We have helped thousands of people prepare their divorce documents for filing.

If you and your spouse agree on the terms of the divorce and want an amicable dissolution to your marriage, why should the process get drawn out and why should you spend money on lawyers? Online divorce is often cheaper, quicker and easier.

Online divorce is the perfect option if you want to save money or if you hope to have your divorce quickly finalized so you can get on with your life. Preparing documents for divorce online in Wisconsin is quickly becoming very popular because you can complete the documents in the comfort of your home. Even if you think your case is too complex because you have children, own your own home or have other assets, you may still be able to prepare your documents online. Just start with our simple questionnaire, and we’ll provide you instructions for each step of the way.

Finally, you don’t have to worry - our process is 100% secure. We protect your information and nothing is filed until you submit the divorce papers to the courthouse yourself. Filing for divorce in Wisconsin with the Onlinedivorce.com system can be a simple solution to a difficult situation.


When you use OnlineDivorce.com, we help you fill out your divorce paperwork using a simple online questionnaire. You can fill it out alone or with the assistance of your spouse. Then, you will need to get a signature from your spouse and you can file the divorce forms with your local court. In Wisconsin, you will typically file with the courthouse in the county in which you currently reside. If a petitioner is not currently a resident, but a defendant is, divorce is typically filed in the county where the defendant resides.

The actual filing process is explained in our detailed court-filing instructions that we provide along with your completed divorce forms. You can also obtain assistance from your local courthouse by calling or stopping by.

After the initial filing, you may need to follow up if there are any issues with your documents. When you use OnlineDivorce.com, we allow you to make small adjustments to your forms as requested by the court at no additional charge. Our goal is to help you obtain your divorce with as little hassle and stress as possible using our online divorce documents preparation service.


Every state has specific requirements where divorcing couples must establish residency within the state they are divorcing. Wisconsin is no exception.

To file for divorce in Wisconsin, one of the spouses must be a resident of the state for at least six months before filing for divorce and must have been a resident of the county in which he or she submits for at least 30 days. While one of the spouses must qualify for residency, it is not necessary that BOTH spouses establish this as such. A waiting period will be required to prove residency if this is not currently the case.

There are many ways to prove that residency has been established. The easiest way is if one or both spouses have a valid and in-date Wisconsin driver’s license, ID card or voter’s registration card which was issued at least six months before filing for divorce. If this is not the case, it may be possible to establish residency, by having someone who knows you or your spouse testify that you have lived in the state for at least six months. Additionally, it may be possible to use an Affidavit of Corroborating Witness form, and it should serve as proof you’ve lived in the state a minimum of six months.

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Valid grounds to get divorce in Wisconsin

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Grounds for an online divorce using OnlineDivorce.com are the same as they would be for any divorce within the State of Wisconsin. Grounds are merely the reason for divorce, and the state must approve them.

The State of Wisconsin recognizes only one grounds for divorce which covers what would be “no-fault” and “at-fault” cases in other states. Only the grounds of “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” can be considered a reason for divorce in Wisconsin. Whether a couple finds it difficult to remain living as a married couple or there are more pressing issues at hand, this ground should be appropriate and allow for the divorce proceedings to begin.

OnlineDivorce reviews

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Custody of the child in Wisconsin

Custody of the child

In Wisconsin divorce cases, the court can choose to award either joint or sole custody to either parent or both parents. The state of Wisconsin defines the term joint legal custody not as who has the child in his or her possession but instead as a form of “shared parental responsibility,” and joint custody is recognized and supported as preferable to sole custody when it is in the best interest of the child or children. Joint custody does not mean that both parents spend equal time with the child or children. Parents are given fair and equitable consideration when determining custody, and no preference is given to one parent versus the other based on gender.

As long as the child or children’s best interests are preserved, the court may decide to award joint legal custody and either:

  • There is a written and supplied to the court agreement between both parties for joint legal custody, or
  • If the parties will not agree to joint legal custody, but one spouse would like joint legal custody, and the court finds the following:
  1. Both parties want to have an active role in the care and raising of the child and are deemed capable of performing parental duties and responsibilities;
  2. The exercise of awarding joint legal custody would not substantially interrupt any existing living arrangement;
  3. The decision-making responsibilities which are required by an award of joint legal custody would not be damaged by the parties’ inability to cooperate with one another.

As long as the agreement appears to be in the children's best interest, the court will approve custody arrangements agreed upon by the parents.

The reality is that the court wants to create a child custody situation that is comfortable for the children and both parents and assures that the children can have a healthy relationship with both parents. In most cases, joint legal custody and some form of shared physical custody will fulfill this need. If the family situation is not stable and the child may be harmed mentally, physically or emotionally by shared custody, the court will decide this direction. In these cases visitation (supervised or otherwise) may be deemed a better option to keep the child in contact with the non-supervisory parent.

In some cases, custody can be set up as a short-term solution to be revisited at a later date if the family or living situation is expected to change dramatically.

Rules for child support in Wisconsin

Child support is designed to make sure the children of divorcing parents will have access to the same level of care and lifestyle that they had before the divorce took place. Child support is not meant to be punitive in nature. Wisconsin has put into place specific state-mandated child support guidelines which apply in almost every case, barring exceptional circumstances. With this, both parties’ gross incomes and certain child related expenses are considered when calculating the child support obligation. In the majority of cases, child support payments continue until the child reaches eighteen years of age, and they can extend until the completion of the child or children’s secondary education.

Some of the specific factors in the state of Wisconsin for consideration for which support guidelines may be adjusted include:

  • Out of the ordinary medical, educational, psychological, or dental expenses (either on a one-time basis or ongoing);
  • The existence of income of the child or children;
  • The custodial parent is receiving both child support and spousal support (alimony);
  • Seasonal or other variations in one or both parents’ income or expenses;
  • The age of the child or children, with the expectation that older children will have more expenses than younger;
  • Special needs of the children or the family;
  • Terms put into writing of a shared parental arrangement;
  • The total assets of both the parents and the child;
  • The impact of the IRS Dependency Exemption on the parent’s taxes;
  • Any other reasonable consideration to make the child support payments equitable; and
  • If the child support guidelines would require the supporting spouse to pay 55% or more of his or her income toward such a cost.

As a note, medical insurance for the child and life insurance that covers the life of the parent who pays support may be a requirement of the court and payments for child support can sometimes be required to be funded through the clerk of courts.

Uncontested Wisconsin divorce with children

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Rules for spousal support in Wisconsin

Rules for spousal support

Alimony, which is also known as spousal support, is sometimes ordered by the court to help one spouse live in a manner established during marriage after the divorce. It is often ordered if one spouse has a much higher earning power than another--such as if one spouse had served as a homemaker during much of the marriage, for instance. This support or assistance may be decided upon by the couple together before filing or may be awarded by the court in a contested case. The court may award rehabilitative (short-term) or more permanent alimony to either of the spouses in either lump-sum payments or as monthly/yearly payments or both. Spousal support is awarded in the state of Wisconsin without regard to marital misconduct (unfaithfulness during the marriage.) However, there are other factors which are considered in the granting of spousal support a few of these are:

  • The time needed to obtain education and/or training that would enable a spouse to find appropriate employment and that spouse’s future capacity to earn a living in such a role;
  • The standard of liv­ing which was established during the time of the marriage;
  • The length of the marriage;
  • The financial resources of the spouses in comparison to each other. Resources would include their earning abilities in the labor market;
  • The contribution that each spouse makes to the marriage, including services rendered in the workforce, homemaking, childcare, care of other family members, education, and helping to build the career of the other spouse;
  • The ages of each of the spouses currently and at the time of marriage;
  • The overall emotional and physical well being of the spouses;
  • Each spouse’s marital and non-marital assets and liabilities;
  • Other factors which the court deems vital in making such a decision.

Please note that the court may decide to combine spousal maintenance and child support payments into one single “family support” payment. This monthly maintenance payment may be required to be paid to the clerk of the court to assure it is disbursed to the spouse on a timely basis. [Wisconsin Statutes Annotated; Sections 767.26, 767.261, and 767.29].

Property division in Wisconsin

Property division

When a couple chooses to divorce in Wisconsin, they must distribute property in a fair and agreeable manner. Legally, Wisconsin is considered to be a “community” state. Only each spouse’s non-marital property is to be retained by each spouse. Non-marital property is deemed to be all property which was acquired before the marriage, property received as a gift or inheritance, and any property declared to be non-marital as per a written agree­ment contracted between the spouses. Once the non-marital property is set aside, the court is required to begin property distribution with the premise that the marital property should be equally divided--hence the community property aspect. While it is said to be divided equally, there are certain considerations taken place to make sure this is done fairly, not just equally. This distribution will be based on the following factors:

  • The economic (and other) circumstances of each of the two spouses at the time the division of property is to become effective;
  • How and by whom the property was acquired;
  • The merits that each spouse may have;
  • The economic and other burdens that would be imposed upon either spouse for the benefit of any children or the other spouse.

The court may also divide any of the spouse’s separate property to prevent hardship on a spouse or the children of the marriage. [Wisconsin Statutes Annotated; Sections 766.01 to 766.97 and 767.255].

Why us? Review the OnlineDivorce.com difference

Contested Divorce

Average prices start at $2000

Offline and inconvenient process with attorney representation for each spouse. Costly attorney fees resulting in unforeseen expenditures. Lengthy and expensive option.

  • Attorney availability impacts completion time
  • Each spouse has to hire an attorney, which automatically doubles legal costs
  • Potential court battles add to the already high-stress levels

The premier uncontested divorce tool

Fully-guided, fast and affordable process. Experienced and reliable online divorce service using top-notch technology.

  • Ready-to-file divorce documents can be completed at your own pace with easy access for both spouses
  • Award-winning customer support
  • One flat fee (for both spouses) to access all completed documents for filing
  • Free revisions and free name change, no hidden fees
  • Detailed state-specific filing instructions
  • Review all and make changes from the comfort of your own home
Other Online Divorce Services

Average prices start at $300

Other websites for filling out divorce documents use flawed software technologies to complete your divorce documentation.

  • Automated document preparation
  • Processing time varies but may take more than three business days
  • On-demand customer support, quality varies
  • One flat fee claimed, however many sites have hidden fees
  • No experience: many sites started operating just a few years ago

Mediation support in Wisconsin

Each county in the State of Wisconsin offers mediation as an option for contested issues in divorce cases. A custody issue may be referred to arbitration by the judge assigned to the case or can be chosen as an option upon request of a party. In a pending divorce, either spouse may file a motion requesting mediation of any disputed issues. The two parties may decide to submit any or all of their issues to the mediator before the divorce is filed so that their case may go to court on an uncontested basis.

For those seeking to prepare their divorce papers using OnlineDivorce.com, utilizing divorce mediation can be a great tool to smooth out disagreements and prevent the case from going to court. This can be the simplest way to assure a fast, easy and affordable online divorce.

Divorce forms in Wisconsin

Wisconsin forms produced by OnlineDivorce.com are court approved divorce forms. We have automated the process of filling them out to simplify matters and avoid any difficulties which may occur with filling out paperwork alone. By utilizing OnlineDivorce.com, you can simplify the process of preparing divorce documents and help both parties to move forward with their lives.

Divorce in Wisconsin online

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Filing fees for divorce in Wisconsin

When you file your divorce papers, the court will charge filing fees that may vary by county. These costs are in addition to the cost of using OnlineDivorce.com. Please check with your local courthouse to determine the exact amount.

How long will it take?

The use of the OnlineDivorce.com service usually takes between 30 minutes and two hours or more depending on the complexity of your case. You’ll start filling out the questionnaire immediately and can either complete it in one sitting, or you can save your progress and complete it at a later date if that is more convenient for you.

Once you’ve gotten the documents complete, you will need to file them and get your spouse’s signature. You’ll have more information regarding the finalization of your divorce case once you complete your paperwork and submit it with the clerk of courts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I really file for divorce in Wisconsin without a lawyer?

Wisconsin laws allow you to represent yourself in court without hiring a lawyer. These rules apply to divorce cases as well. Such a procedure is called Pro Se divorce, also known as do-it-yourself divorce.

The main stages of the process and requirements to file for divorce are the same for the spouses who seek legal assistance and those who arrange a DIY divorce. However, the latter option is associated with significant risks and responsibilities.

Some dissolution cases may be too complicated to handle independently without adequate experience and background. Often, when some people choose a DIY approach just for saving money on attorneys, they still have to seek a lawyer’s help to fix their mistakes or even start the procedure all over again.

Therefore, filing for divorce without a lawyer is more appropriate when the spouses do not contest the case and have no valuable assets, children-related disputes, or other controversial issues.

How can I file for divorce in Wisconsin without a lawyer?

As long as Wisconsin residency requirements are met, the spouses have the right to apply for a divorce with a local court.

In Wisconsin, there are two ways available to file for an uncontested divorce. If the spouses have reached an agreement about the full terms of their separation before filing, they may file a Joint Petition for Divorce and save their time.
Also, the spouse initiating the case (called the petitioner or plaintiff) can do it separately by filing the Petition (with/without minor children) and Summons (with/without minor children).

After completing all the required legal forms (which may vary depending on the circumstances of the case and county used), the petitioner (or co-petitioners, if the spouses file for divorce jointly) shall file the papers with the Circuit Court and pay a mandatory court filing fee.

The sole petitioner also has to make copies of the filed documents to serve the second spouse. The service of process must be accomplished within ninety days after filing the petition, by any adult person who is not a party in a case, via certified mail, sheriff's service, or private process server. Anyway, the court must get proof of service, whether it be the Acceptance of Service form signed by the defendant, a return receipt (when serving by mail), or the proof of service filed by the sheriff or professional process server.

How much does it cost to get an uncontested divorce in Wisconsin?

Even though an uncontested divorce is usually considered less expensive than a contested one, the exact cost of divorce in Wisconsin is hard to predict in advance.
Each couple and each marriage dissolution is unique, so the spouses' expenses may vary greatly depending on how they would like to arrange the procedure, what specialists to hire, etc.

The mandatory court filing fees do not differ for those who seek a lawyer’s help and for self-represented litigants. However, at the further stages, the spouses may either handle their case independently or hire a high-priced attorney even for their uncontested divorce. Other divorce-related services that may cause additional expenses include online divorce services, divorce mediation, co-parenting counseling, and more.

How long do you have to live in Wisconsin to file for divorce?

For Wisconsin Circuit Courts to have jurisdiction over the divorce case, the couple must meet the state's residency requirements.

Thus, according to the Wisconsin Statutes, at least one of the spouses must be a Wisconsin resident for at least six months before filing the petition. Also, to apply for divorce in a particular county, either party must reside there for at least thirty days.

How long do you have to respond to divorce papers in Wisconsin?

If the spouses have not filed a Joint Petition for Divorce, the defendant, being served with copies of divorce papers, has to respond to the papers within a specific time.

In Wisconsin, the defendant has twenty days to file an answer (Response and Counterclaim) with the court. If a defendant fails to respond before this deadline, the court may enter a default judgment against them.

How do you get a free divorce in Wisconsin?

In theory, filing for divorce for free in Wisconsin is available only for those spouses who are entitled to exemption from the payment of court costs due to financial hardship.

If a plaintiff cannot afford to pay a court filing fee, which is about $175-190 in Wisconsin, they may request a waiver by completing and submitting a Petition for Waiver of Fees and Costs - Affidavit of Indigency to the court.

In all other cases, be it an uncontested DIY divorce or otherwise, the cheapest way to arrange the dissolution procedure still is not free due to mandatory court fees.

What papers do I need to file for a divorce in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, the legal forms required to be filed in a divorce without children may include the Joint Petition for Divorce Without Minor Children, the Summons without Minor Children, Petition without Minor Children, Confidential Petition Addendum, and Financial Disclosure Statement, Response and Counterclaim, Admission of Service, Financial Disclosure Statement.

Couples with minor children usually need to file the Joint Petition for Divorce With Minor Children, the Summons with Minor Children, Petition with Minor Children, Confidential Petition Addendum, Proposed Parenting Plan, Financial Disclosure Statement, the Response and Counterclaim, Admission of Service, Proposed Parenting Plan.

Here is how OnlineDivorce.com makes completing divorce papers easier:

  • We provide the full divorce packet required by the local court - clients do not need to drive to their local courthouse to get the blank forms or search for the right divorce forms online. In rare cases, local county forms can vary in color, paper material, size, or bar code, so they may need to be obtained directly from the county clerk's office.
  • We complete the necessary forms for clients based on their answers given in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to understand family law or read through complicated instructions to figure out how to fill out the forms themselves.
  • We give detailed, easy to follow step-by-step instructions for filing a divorce with the court - so the client knows exactly what to do to get his/her divorce finalized.
  • We provide unlimited technical support - if a client needs assistance through the online process, he/she can always reach out to us via phone, email, or live chat, and we'll do our best to help.
  • We save our clients time and money - if divorcing spouses agree regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer to handle their divorce forms and don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.
  • We guarantee 100% court approval on divorce papers prepared through our website or your money back - we have 21 years of experience in completing divorce forms so clients can be sure the court will accept their documents without issues.

Online Divorce got my divorce pushed through very quickly and much cheaper than if I resorted to a lawyer’s help. The service was excellent, and the filing instructions were very helpful.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Matthew N.