Divorce & Legal Separation
If you are facing a divorce, you are likely experiencing a range of intense emotions and may be uncertain what your legal rights are regarding child placement and custody, child or spousal support or the division of your property. Even if your divorce is amicable and you have reached agreements with your spouse as to all of the child-related and financial issues in your divorce, you may have questions about the paperwork or procedures. Anne Schmiege is an experienced divorce attorney, and she can help you find your way through each step involved in the divorce process. She and her staff understand how difficult these proceedings can be, and they are there to answer your questions and provide you with an empathetic ear and no-nonsense advice.
The process of obtaining a legal separation is virtually identical to that of a divorce. Because the procedures and costs are usually the same, the vast majority of parties choose to proceed with a divorce rather than a legal separation. However, there are circumstances in which a legal separation is preferred, such as where there is a significant financial advantage in one party maintaining the other on his or hers health insurance or where the parties prefer a legal separation for religious reasons.
Annulments are very rare in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin law pertaining to annulments is found in Wisconsin Statute section 767.313. There are only four grounds for an annulment under Wisconsin law:
- Where a party lacked capacity to consent to the marriage due to age, mental incapacity, or to being under the influence of mind-altering substances; or where a party was forced or misled into a marriage.
- Where a party is physically unable to consummate the marriage, and the other party was unaware of this at the time of marriage.
- Where a party was 16 or 17 years old at the time of marriage and did not have his or her parents’ consent.
- Where the marriage is prohibited by Wisconsin law, such as when one party is already married to someone else at the time of marriage.
The length of a marriage is not a grounds for annulment. If you believe that you may meet one or more grounds for annulment and would like to end your marriage, you should consult with an attorney for legal advice on how to proceed.