How to Win Property in a Wisconsin Divorce

By Beverly Bird

Wisconsin is a community property state, but not all community property states are created equal. When you divorce, the court begins with the premise that all your marital property should be divided 50-50. But unlike some other community property states, Wisconsin judges can consider several factors to tweak the balance of property distribution. The only way to win more than half of the marital property is if this occurs – otherwise, you'll end up with half.

Wisconsin is a community property state, but not all community property states are created equal. When you divorce, the court begins with the premise that all your marital property should be divided 50-50. But unlike some other community property states, Wisconsin judges can consider several factors to tweak the balance of property distribution. The only way to win more than half of the marital property is if this occurs – otherwise, you'll end up with half.

Distribution Factors

Among other things, Wisconsin judges can consider the length of your marriage and all contributions you made to it. For example, you might have supported your family while your spouse went to school and earned a fancy degree. If his income is a great deal more than yours as a result, the court might award you additional property. You must prove that it would be unfair for your spouse to enjoy his earning potential and a full half of your marital property as well, leaving you worse off than he will be after the divorce.

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How Property Is Divided

If the court rules for a 60-40 division of property in your favor, it typically doesn't require that each asset be sold so you can have 60 percent of the proceeds. For example, if you have total assets valued at $500,000, you would receive certain ones with a total value equal to $300,000, or 60 percent. Wisconsin courts occasionally distribute premarital, inherited or gifted assets that belong to one spouse. However, this is rare, so don't count on winning a portion of your spouse's separate property as well.

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Divorce & Equitable Distribution

References

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