Divorce / Legal Separation Information
The information contained on this web page is provided as a courtesy to members of the public, and shall not be construed as legal advice. If you have questions, contact the Wisconsin Bar Association Lawyer Referral and Information Service 800-362-9082 for additional assistance.
Divorce ends a marriage. The court rules on the division of property, maintenance (formerly known as alimony), and if necessary, arrangements for child support, legal custody, and physical placement. There is a statutory 120-day waiting period to get divorced. Once the divorce is granted, the parties cannot remarry anywhere in the world for at least six months.
Parties do not have to give reasons for wanting a divorce. Wisconsin is a "no fault" divorce state, which means neither party must prove the other has done anything wrong, and only the Petitioner must testify under oath that he or she believes that the marriage is irretrievably broken when there is no chance for reconciliation.
Legal separation does not end a marriage. The Court rules on the same issues as for divorce. The forms, instructions, procedural information, and waiting period (120 days) are also the same as those for divorce. Parties are free to reconcile at any time. The parties cannot marry another person during legal separation.
If the parties agree, they may convert the legal separation to a divorce at any time. If they do not agree, either party may convert the legal separation to a divorce by filing a motion to do so after one year from the date the legal separation was granted. If the parties convert the legal separation to a divorce, the parties may not remarry anywhere in the world for at least six months from the day the legal separation was converted to a divorce.
Who may petition?
To file for divorce/legal separation in Oconto County, at least one of the parties must:
- Be a resident of the State of Wisconsin for six months immediately before the date the action is filed, and
- Be a resident of Oconto County for thirty (30) days immediately before the date the action is filed. For Example: If a party files for divorce on July 1, one party must have lived in Wisconsin from at least January 1, through June 30 and in Oconto County from at least June 1 through June 30 of the same year.
- $184.50 - if no minor children AND no request for maintenance
- $194.50 - if there are minor children OR if there are no minor children, but maintenance is requested
Determined by Sheriff's Department and/or process server (refer to Service Information for more information)
Court Staff Cannot Give Legal Advice
Wisconsin Court System offers a self-help website. This website provides information on divorce and legal separation procedures and the link to download court forms without a cost. Court forms to commence a divorce action ARE NOT available at the Oconto County Clerk of Courts Office.
Do not contact the Family Court Commissioner's Office or the Clerk of Court's office with questions on which document(s) to complete and/or how to complete a specific form, as no courthouse personnel may give legal advice. If you need help with a legal issue, the State Bar of Wisconsin's Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) is a good place to start. You may contact LRIS at 800-362-9082 or visit the State Bar of Wisconsin website..
The Wisconsin State Law Library is a public law library that operates under the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The Library's mission is to serve the legal information needs of the officers and employees of this state, attorneys and the public by providing the highest quality of professional expertise in the selection, maintenance and use of material, information and technology in order to facilitate equal access to the law. You may contact the Library directly at 800-322-9755, or visit the Wisconsin State Law Library.
If you have any questions regarding filing for divorce please call 920-834-6857.
View a quick guide on filing for divorce and the forms needed.