Stillings & Buchinger, LLC
Wisconsin Marital Property Law
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green bay :: sheboygan :: manitowoc :: Berlin :: Wisconsin
Wisconsin marital property Law assumptions
Wisconsin law assumes that all property and all debts in
existence at the time of the divorce are joint and mutual. The law presumes
that you are each equally entitled to an equal division of all of the
marital debts and all of the marital assets. In that sense, Wisconsin
is very much like a community property law state, but there are differences
in Wisconsin law that distinguish it from other common law states that
are best explained in person.
Division of Debts Under Wisconsin Marital Property Law
Wisconsin law presumes that all debts arise from the marriage,
therefore, all debts are equally born by the spouses. If your spouse creates
a huge credit card debt in his or her name alone during the marital period,
you get half of the debt.
Division of Assets Under Wisconsin marital Property Law
Wisconsin law begins with the assumption that all assets are acquired during the marriage and all assets are marital property. From that assumption, the court will consider reclassification of an asset under certain situations. While the entire explanation cannot be made here, the general rule of thumb that exists regards how the assets were treated after marriage.
If an asset was commingled - that is, it was placed into an account held by both spouses or used extensively by both spouses - then the asset usually becomes marital property. Conversely, if an asset is kept separate and apart by one spouse from the other spouse and the marriage, then it may be considered "separate property". However, if proceeds from that asset were commingled, then the entire asset or the proceeds may become marital property.
Inheritances are an exception provided they are kept separate and apart from the marital assets. However, if an inheritance earns revenues and those revenues become a part of the marital assets, then all of the inherited asset can be reclassified, although there may be reason to ask for reclassification only of the proceeds provided they were not commingled.
Wisconsin law also presumes that all assets are equally
owned by the spouses. Upon divorce, the courts view all assets as a whole
and the division of those assets is handled by both current and future
values. Wisconsin law does not presume that one spouse contributed more
merely because that spouse worked while the other did not. As well, all retirement plans, savings, investments, stocks, and options are assets
of the marriage.
Free Initial Consultation
Attorney Gordon E. Stillings and Attorney Melody Buchinger offer a free initial consultation.
To arrange an initial consultation
with one of the attorneys, please call the law office at (920) 725-5305 (toll free at (888) 878-4379) or e-mail the attorneys directly.