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How Long Does a Divorce Take in Waukesha County? 

 Posted on January 17, 2022 in Criminal Law

shutterstock_764346061.jpgIf you are planning to get a divorce in Wisconsin, you may be wondering how long the process takes. From filing the paperwork and negotiating divorce issues, to finalizing the divorce and everything in between, there are many steps involved in divorce proceedings. While the exact timeline of your divorce will vary depending on the specifics of your situation, here is a general idea of how long a Wisconsin divorce takes. 

Filing the Initial Divorce Paperwork 

In Wisconsin, there is a mandatory waiting period of 120 days between the divorce filing date and the point at which the divorce is finalized. The purpose of this waiting period is to provide the two people pursuing a divorce with time to think about their decision. 

A waiting time ensures that spouses are not legally dissolving their marriage as part of a rash decision. The 120-day waiting period also allows each of the divorce lawyers representing the parties to prepare for settlement negotiations or trial. 

The only exception to this mandatory waiting period is if a spouse or a child is in harm’s way as a result of the waiting period. As such, your initial thought may be that an uncontested divorce takes at least 120 days, or an average of four months, at an absolute minimum. However, the final hearing must take place after the 120-day waiting period, so many divorces in Wisconsin take upwards of six months to an entire year before they are finalized. 

Additionally, many divorces in Wisconsin take longer than 120 days, and contested issues that arise may prolong the divorce process further. Essentially, the more amicable you and your ex are, and the more decisions you can quickly come to conclusions on, the less time-intensive the divorce proceedings will be. 

How Can We Resolve Divorce Issues? 

To end your marriage, you and your spouse may need to address the division of marital property and debts, child custody, spousal maintenance, and several other important concerns. Your respective lawyers can help you negotiate these issues. You may also decide to attend mediation. Mediation is often incorporated if you and your spouse are having difficulty coming to conclusions or reaching agreements in ways that are preventing the divorce from being finalized. For instance, if you cannot agree on a child custody arrangement or how you plan to divide your assets, you may decide to work with a professional mediator to solve these problems. 

The mediation process varies in length, primarily because it is fully reliant on how readily and quickly two spouses can reach an agreement. It is often initiated at some point during the 120-day waiting period in Wisconsin. 

All in all, uncontested divorces in which both spouses agree readily and work together amicably are often finalized shortly after the 120-day waiting period. However, if contested issues arise and cannot be resolved quickly, the divorce process may be extended as a result. 

Contact a Waukesha County Divorce Lawyer 

If you are in need of legal advice or you are looking to hire a Menomonee Falls family law attorney to represent you during your divorce, call Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP today. By dialing 262-232-6699, you can schedule a free consultation. You can reach Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP 24/7 every day of the week, so feel free to call anytime. 



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