Can You Get Divorced Without Spouse’s Consent?

I want to get divorced, but my spouse has told me they will refuse to allow me to divorce them. Is there a way to get divorced without my spouse’s consent?

Your spouse has no authority to prevent you from divorcing them. Many years ago, Wisconsin was a “fault” state, which meant you could not divorce your spouse unless you could prove a reason why you wanted the divorce, such as abuse, infidelity, etc. However, for many years Wisconsin has been a “no fault” state, as are the majority of states in the country. This means that all you need to state to the Court is that you believe your marriage to be irretrievably broken with no prospect of reconciliation, and the Court will grant you a divorce, regardless of whether your spouse wants the divorce or agrees to it. This can be challenging when you feel you are the victim of a spouse who caused the erosion of the marriage. As compassionate divorce lawyers in an all-female law firm, we can relate to this frustration.

Since Wisconsin is a “no fault” state, the Court is not allowed to consider the reasons the parties are divorcing. This means that many of the ugly, embarrassing details of your marriage will not be shared with the Court or become public knowledge. If you get into a dispute over your children, then some issues of your marriage may need to be considered as it relates to parenting. These include domestic abuse, alcohol or drug abuse, or mental health issues, as these are factors that are considered relevant to each party’s parenting abilities.

Since Wisconsin is also a community property state, this means the Court will not make decisions as to whom was the “at fault” party in a divorce, and grant them less in property division than the other spouse receives. Regardless of who “caused” the divorce, each person remains entitled to 50% of the marital property.

Our all-female law firm has represented thousands of men and women through the divorce process. Whether you are interested in starting a divorce, or have had one filed against you, divorce is not an easy process. Statistics show that getting divorced is one of the top 5 most stressful life experiences. We understand that. Let our experienced, compassionate and aggressive attorneys at BASILIERE, THOMPSON, BISSETT, CASTONIA & SWARDENSKI LLP assist you through this difficult life transition.

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