How Does Wisconsin Divide Assets During Divorce?

By Attorney Carlos Gamino

When you divorce your spouse, you’re both entitled to some of your belongings – but it may not be in the way that you think. Here’s what you need to know about how assets are divided in a divorce in Wisconsin.

How Are Assets Divided in a Divorce in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin is a community property state, which means what you and your spouse have acquired during your marriage belongs to both of you. All your property – including both assets and debts – belong to both parties in your divorce, regardless of who paid for them.

Those assets have to be divided between you.

However, some assets are not divisible in divorce in Wisconsin. You don’t have to divide:

  • Property you brought into the marriage
  • Family heirlooms that have been passed down to you
  • Gifts you received during the marriage
  • Your inheritance
  • Things that are considered separate property through a valid prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement

Separate property – the assets you don’t have to divide – belongs only to its original owner. If your grandmother left you money during your marriage, for example, you most likely don’t have to divide it with your spouse. Likewise, if your spouse owned a house outright before your marriage, he or she most likely does not have to split it with you.

Related: What is a marital settlement agreement?

Splitting Your Property During Divorce

In the event of a divorce, couples are supposed to split community property. That means you’re each entitled to half. You don’t have to sell your assets and split the proceeds, though; you can trade things for equal value. For example, if you want the china cabinet and your spouse wants the toolbox, provided those things are very similar in value, it’s okay for you to take what you want with your spouse’s agreement.

Related: Wisconsin property division information

Do You Need to Talk to a Divorce Attorney About Property Division?

If you’re divorcing your spouse and need to talk to an attorney about property division, spousal support, child custody or anything else, we’re here for you. Call us at 414-383-6700 now.

Attorney Carlos Gamino