You and your spouse are splitting up, and you are preparing for the divorce. Going through a divorce can be very complex, and there are many legal details that you will have to confront. As you learn about the process, you are encountering questions that never even occurred to you.
Like this one: What will happen to my assets? How will my money, real estate and personal items be divided? In Wisconsin, the answer to that question surprises a lot of couples.
Property division in Wisconsin
There are two methods by which states divide property in a divorce. One method is called equitable distribution. This means that when a court divides a couple's assets, it does so in a way aimed at being equitable to both parties. Most states follow this rule, but Wisconsin and a few other states are exceptions.
Wisconsin is considered a community property state. When couples divorce in Wisconsin, the state considers any property that has been accumulated before the marriage to be separate property. Any property accumulated after the marriage is generally community property. The court allows each spouse to keep their separate property, but community property is typically split 50-50.
If you and your spouse have a prenuptial agreement, then the court will usually honor it.
Also, divorcing individuals can try to reach a property division settlement through negotiation and other out-of-court methods rather than having property division issues decided through litigation.
Dividing your assets
When preparing for a divorce, you will have to consider how to divide your assets. If your divorce proceeds to trial, then a judge will address property division in your divorce decision. Fortunately, you do have legal options that you can use to advocate for your best interests. It is important to take every step possible to make sure that your assets are divided in a way that is conducive to your best interests and your goals for the future.