One of the most hotly contested areas of divorce—aside from child custody, of course—is property division.
So what happens when “what’s mine is yours” dissolves into disagreements over who gets which property during a Wisconsin divorce?
Property Division in Wisconsin Divorces
As with all other aspects of your divorce, you and your ex-spouse are allowed to reach your own agreement under Wisconsin law. However, your agreement must be fair and reasonable, and the judge in your case must agree before he or she will sign off on it.
When a couple can’t decide who gets what, the court will step in and divide the property, assets and debts.
What is Marital Property?
Under the law, there are two types of property in a marriage: community and separate.
Community property is everything you acquire during the course of your marriage and things that you had prior to your marriage that were used for the benefit of the marriage. This can include real property (such as your house) and things such as income, benefits and dividends.
Separate property is property that one of you brought into the marriage and that has remained separate during the marriage. Sometimes inheritances (if they’re only for one spouse) and other assets are considered separate property, but it’s up to the person claiming separate property to prove it.
Equal Division of Property
Your Wisconsin divorce lawyer will probably advise you to come up with your own agreement; that’s often the best way to ensure you’re getting what you want from your divorce. When couples can’t agree on who gets what, the judge must step in. The judge can look at several factors, including:
- The length of your marriage
- Possible tax consequences
- Earning potential of both spouses
- Whether one spouse contributed to the education or career of the other
- Whether one spouse stayed home to raise children
- Debts each spouse incurred during marriage
The bottom line is that it’s best for you and your spouse to reach an agreement on your own. However, we know that’s not always possible—and sometimes it’s necessary for the judge to decide which property you’ll get and which property your ex-spouse will get.
Your Milwaukee divorce lawyer will be with you every step of the way, though, and we’ll do our best to make the entire process go smoothly.
Do You Need to Talk to a Milwaukee Divorce Lawyer?
If you’re getting a divorce and you need to speak with a Wisconsin divorce lawyer, call us at 414-383-6700 or get in touch with us online. We’ll be happy to discuss your case and help you develop a strategy that makes things easier on you and your children.