Wisconsin Property Division Law
Wisconsin is a community property state, where property is considered equally owned by both spouses. In a divorce, most property can be divided. The categories of property may include: household items such as furniture, appliances or personal items such as jewelry; automobiles; life insurance; securities and investments; deferred compensation such as bonuses or unpaid vacation time; and retirement benefits such as pensions or 401Ks. Gifts to one spouse or inheritance are typically excluded from the division process, but there may be exceptions.
When Divorce Settlements Fail
If a couple cannot agree on how to divide the property, the court will decide. The court starts with the presumption that equal division is fair and proper. However, the court may consider various factors when determining how the marital property – and debt – should be divided. The court may consider the length of the marriage, property owed by either spouse when they married that may be viewed as separate property, whether one spouse has substantial assets the court cannot divide, each spouse’s contribution to the marriage in terms of being a breadwinner or homemaker, the ages and health status of the parties, what one spouse contributed to the earning power of the other, each spouses earning capacity, the allocation of the family home to the primary caregiver of minor children, tax consequences, and any agreements forged between the spouses – such as prenuptial or pre-marital agreements.
Get Experienced Legal Help in Divorce
It is very important to provide a complete and accurate accounting of all property and debt. Completing an inventory of all assets and debt supported by documentation will put you in the best position for success. If you have questions regarding Wisconsin marital property division in a divorce, contact the Law Offices of Andrew C. Ladd, LLC. We will work hard to win a favorable outcome through settlement or in court. We have successfully negotiated child custody and support arrangements, property division and spousal maintenance terms on behalf of our clients for over 30 years. Call today.