When it comes to the concept of “fairness” as applied to the division of assets in a divorce, states take different approaches. Some states, known as equitable distribution states, essentially allow courts to divide marital property in whatever way they deem fair in the event of a contentious dispute. This approach prioritizes the reality that every marriage is unique.
On the flip side, some states, known as community property states, seek to eliminate the kind of subjectivity that is inherent in the equitable distribution process. Instead, laws in community property states insist that the value of a couple’s marital property must be divided 50-50 in the event of a contentious divorce. Period. Wisconsin is one of those states.
Preparing for a divorce in Wisconsin
If you and your spouse can – via direct negotiation, attorney-led negotiation and/or mediation – reach an agreement about how you want your assets divided, you can arrive at any outcome that suits you both. However, it’s important to keep in the back of your mind that every divorce has the potential to become contentious.
In the event of a contentious process, you’ll need to think critically about which assets you want to own and why. That clarity will help you to focus your legal strategy as you fight for “your half.”
By gaining a clear understanding of your rights and options as you prepare for a divorce in Wisconsin, you can better ensure that you make informed decisions. By seeking legal guidance – regardless of whether your divorce is likely to be contentious or amicable – you’ll also better ensure that you have the support you need to protect your interests as you move forward.