Wisconsin

Request a consultation.

Wisconsin cases are also handled by our Minneapolis area office.


Cordell & Cordell’s Wisconsin divorce attorneys exclusively practice domestic litigation and handle Wisconsin fathers’ rights issues. Our family law attorneys are located in Madison and Milwaukee and are licensed to practice law throughout the state. Attorneys in our Minnesota offices can handle cases in northern Wisconsin, too.

With our unique focus on men’s family law, our divorce attorneys have a complete understanding of the challenges men face in the family court system. Cordell & Cordell is a proven partner men can count on.

To schedule an appointment with one of our Wisconsin divorce attorneys, please call 1-866-DADS-LAW or the numbers listed to the right to your local office.

Wisconsin Frequently Asked Divorce Questions

What are the grounds for filing for divorce in Wisconsin?

The court must find that the marriage is irretrievably broken. This finding is usually based on the petition for the divorce and one or both parties’ testimony at the final hearing. If one party contests the grounds, the court is still required to make a finding that the marriage is irretrievably broken if it finds no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.

How much will my Wisconsin divorce cost?

Since each case is different, the cost of each case varies significantly. The cost depends on many factors including the number of hearings, the types of issues included, the nature of assets of one or both parties, whether a guardian ad litem is appointed to represent the children’s best interests, and whether the parties have reached agreements on some or all issues.

Can I annul my marriage?

Legal annulments are granted only for very specific reasons. The court may grant an annulment if it finds:
  • A party lacked capacity to consent to the marriage, because of age, mental incapacity, or the influence of drugs or alcohol;
  • A party was induced to enter the marriage by force, duress or fraud within one year of obtaining knowledge of the fraud;
  • A party lacks the physical capacity to consummate the marriage by sexual intercourse and this was not know by the other party; or
  • The marriage is prohibited by law.
Even in cases where the court cannot grant a legal annulment, the parties may be able to pursue an annulment through their church in addition to the divorce. Not finding the answer you are looking for? Browse our Wisconsin Divorce Questions.

Wisconsin Child Custody Questions

Who will get custody of our child?

In Wisconsin, custody refers to decision-making authority, and it is most common for custody to be held jointly between the parents. Pursuant to statute, the court is required to presume that joint legal custody is in the best interest of the children. It is in the present best interest of the minor children of the marriage for the parents to have joint legal custody if both parents are fit and proper persons to have joint legal custody. Placement means the right of a parent to have the child physically placed with that party and has the right and responsibility to make, during that placement, routine daily decisions regarding the child’s care, consistent with major decisions made under the custody designation. The placement order addresses where and with whom the child actually spends time. Under most circumstances, when a court sets a parenting schedule in a placement order, it is required to set a schedule that allows the children to have regularly occurring, meaningful periods of physical placement with each parent that maximizes the amount of time the child may spend with each parent.

Can a parent refuse to allow visitation if child support is not paid?

No. Failure to pay child support is not a basis for denying another parent their placement time.

Can I modify custody?

The standard to modify custody and placement orders is different depending on whether two years have elapsed from the entry of the judgment. The first two years following the divorce judgment is colloquially referred to as a “cooling off period.” As a result, it is very difficult to modify the placement schedule other than by stipulation within two years of the divorce. In order to seek a modification, the moving parent must show “by substantial evidence that the modification is necessary because the current conditions are physically or emotionally harmful to the best interests of the child.” The standard for modification if more than two years have expired from the final order is significantly different. The threshold question for the court to determine is whether the moving parent has shown that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the entry of the last order affecting physical placement. If that burden is met, the court then proceeds to consider whether any modification would be in the best interest of the child.

What if we cannot agree on a custody arrangement?

When parents cannot come to an agreement on custody and placement, the court will likely first order the parties to attend mediation. If mediation is unsuccessful, the court will appoint a Guardian ad Litem to represent the children’s best interest. The court may also require a custody study or other evaluations to be completed for the court’s review in making a determination. Not finding the answer you are looking for? Browse our Wisconsin Child Custody Questions.