Legal separation in Wisconsin is handled in the same way as divorce. You go through the same steps but the end result is different. Your marriage will not end but you will have a court ruling on the same issues that are dealt with during the divorce process.
There is a 120 day waiting period, spouses are free to reconcile at any time after the separation, spouses cannot remarry during the separation and if agreed the legal separation can be converted to a divorce at any time.
If the spouses do not agree then one or the other can petition the court to convert the legal separation to a divorce after a one year period of separation. In Wisconsin spouses do not have to give a reason as to why they wish to separate. They will however, have to testify, under oath that the marital relationship is broken.
The steps one takes to obtain a legal separation in Wisconsin are:
- File a petition for separation,
- Notify the other party to the separation,
- Request a temporary hearing to settle issues such as child support, spousal support and property distribution,
- If there are children complete parenting programs and parenting plan,
- Attend a final hearing.
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