What Are the State of Wisconsin Laws on Dividing Assets After a Divorce?

By Jim Thomas

Valuating and dividing up your assets can further complicate the already contentious matter of divorce. Wisconsin law generally stipulates a 50-50 division of all assets to give each party approximately the same net worth after the divorce. However, exceptions to the general rule exist that give the court the power to divide assets differently based on a number of other factors.

Marital Assets

Marital property includes real estate, bank accounts, stocks and bonds, mortgages and notes, life insurance, personal property such as jewelry, and retirement benefits. Debts accumulated by you and your spouse during the marriage are deducted from the assets to determine the value of your marital property. If you brought property into the marriage, it may or may not be considered marital property depending on the particular facts of your case.

General Rule

Wisconsin statute 767.255 governs property division after a divorce. If the parties reach an agreement on the division of their property, the court typically honors that agreement. If not, the court divides property under the presumption it is to be divided equally between the parties.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More


The statute governing property division provides an exception to the 50-50 rule when one spouse received property as a gift or through inheritance and when one spouse brought substantially more assets than the other into a short-term marriage. If you brought assets you received as a gift or inheritance into the marriage, the court usually awards you those assets without counting them as marital property, especially if those assets were kept separate and distinct from other marital assets acquired during the marriage. In the event of a short-term marriage, the court considers the length of the marriage as a factor. If one spouse is exceptionally wealthy when he marries and the couple divorces after several months, for example, the court has the power to alter the standard 50-50 split.

Other Factors

Wisconsin statute 767.255 gives judges plenty of leeway to deviate from the general 50-50 rule. The court can consider the best interest of the children, contributions to the marriage by each spouse, including homemaking and child rearing, age, physical health and emotional health of the parties, earning capacity of each spouse, amount of job training needed for a spouse who has been out of the labor market to reenter the workforce, and other economic factors that may favor one party over the other.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Distribution of Marital Property in a Final Divorce Decree in Virginia


Related articles

Las Vegas Divorce Laws

Las Vegas was once known as a divorce haven, due to Nevada's tolerant "no fault" divorce laws. Even today, Nevada requires just six weeks' residency before filing for divorce and therefore attracts a number of short-term residents for that purpose. The divorce procedure depends on whether the couple agrees on all relevant issues such as financial settlements and child custody. The Family Court at Clark County Court in Las Vegas deals with divorce cases for the area, applying the law under Chapter 125 of Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS).

How Does Property Get Split Up in a Montana Divorce?

The sharing of property and money is one of the many benefits of marriage. However, if couples decide to get divorced, determining who should take ownership of the marital assets can get confusing. In Montana, the law requires a court to look at several factors and what is fair between the parties when distributing property as part of your divorce.

Are Ohio Divorce Laws Different After 10 Years of Marriage?

Long marriages often have more complex issues involving property division, child custody, child support and alimony than shorter marriages because couples have had more time to accumulate assets together. Ohio does not have any laws that specifically address divorces after marriages of 10 years or longer, but the length of a marriage can impact certain aspects of divorce settlement in Ohio, particularly property division and alimony.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How Are Assets Divided in Michigan During a Divorce?

In community property states, the law demands that courts divide marital property 50/50 when couples divorce. In ...

The 401(k) and Divorce Law in Arizona

Community property states, such as Arizona, view assets acquired during a marital relationship as equally shared ...

Can She Really Take 1/2 of Everything in a Divorce?

When you divorce, many of your assets must be divided between you and your spouse, but the way these are divided varies ...

How to Divide Up the Assets for a Divorce in Illinois

In Illinois, you have the right to reach a property settlement agreement with your spouse: the two of you can mutually ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED