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- Final Divorce / Legal Separation Documents
Final Divorce / Legal Separation Documents
The information contained on this web page is provided as a courtesy to members of the public, and shall not be construed as legal advice. If you have questions, contact the Wisconsin Bar Association Lawyer Referral and Information Service 800-362-9082 for additional assistance.
Approximately two months before the scheduled Stipulated Divorce/Legal Separation Hearing, each party will receive a letter from the Family Court Commissioner reminding parties to submit the final divorce/legal separation forms for the Family Court Commissioner to review prior to the scheduled stipulation divorce/legal separation hearing. The original documents will be placed in the Family Court Commissioner's file until the date of the final hearing. If after review of the paperwork the Family Court Commissioner determines there are deficiencies, the final hearing may become a Pre-Trial Conference and the Family Court Commissioner will provide information regarding the areas which need amendment or completion. This may require the Family Court Commissioner to schedule a different final hearing date to allow the parties time to complete or amend the paperwork and re-submit the paperwork for final approval.
1. Financial Disclosure Statement - a document to be completed by each party to disclose their current income, expenses, assets and debt information. Parties must exchange a copy of their completed financial disclosure statement with each other prior to the final hearing. All property and debts must appear on both your Financial Disclosure Statements and the Marital Settlement Agreement.
- Form Number FA-4139V (PDF) - Financial Disclosure Statement
2. Marital Settlement Agreement - is an agreement signed by all parties resolving all issues regarding maintenance, child custody and placement, child support, division of marital property and debts.
- Form Number FA-4150V (PDF) - Marital Settlement Agreement with minor children OR
- Form Number FA-4151V (PDF) - Marital Settlement Agreement without minor children
To proceed with the final divorce/legal separation hearing, the Marital Settlement Agreement must address the following issues:
- Maintenance. Maintenance is money paid for the support of a former spouse. If there is to be maintenance, the agreement must state the amount and the length of time it will be paid. If there will be no current payments but the parties agree that the Court will retain the power to award maintenance, the agreement must so state and specify how long the Court will retain jurisdiction over the maintenance issue. If one or both parties is giving up or waiving the right to seek maintenance, the agreement must so state. A waiver of maintenance is final no matter what happens in the future
- Division of Property. The agreement must divide all property owned by the parties as of the date of the final divorce hearing. Property includes real estate, motor vehicles, household property, bank accounts, pension plans, profit sharing plans, 401K plans, life insurance, stocks and bonds and any money owed to either spouse by a third party. It does not matter who purchased the item, who paid for it, whose name it is titled in or whether one party or the other one owned it prior to the marriage. All property must be dealt with in some way. All property must appear on both your Financial Disclosure Statements and the Marital Settlement Agreement.
- Responsibility for Debts and Financial Obligations. The agreement must list all debts which exist as of the date of the final divorce hearing and identify who is responsible for payment. It does not matter who incurred the debt or for what purpose. All debts must appear on both your Financial Disclosure Statements and the Marital Settlement Agreement.
If There are Minor Children:
- Legal Custody and Physical Placement. The agreement must award legal custody to one parent or provide for joint legal custody. Joint legal custody means that both parents have equal rights and responsibilities to their child(ren). If there is joint legal custody, one parent may be designated as the primary caretaker and that parent's home would be designated the primary home of the child(ren). Under ordinary circumstances, whether there is sole legal custody in one parent or joint legal custody, both parents have the right of physical placement. The agreement should describe the physical placement rights of both parties. If one parent is the primary caretaker, the agreement need only describe physical placement with the other parent. For example, every other weekend from 6 pm. Friday to 6 pm. Sunday and every other holiday to include Christmas Eve, Christmas, etc.
- Child Support. The agreement must cover child support, and only under very special circumstances will the Court approve an agreement that does not set support that is equal to or very close to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families Child Support Guidelines.
- Variable Expenses. The agreement must define the agreed upon variable costs above basic support costs incurred by or on behalf of a child(ren), including but not limited to, the cost of child care, tuition, a child(ren)'s special needs and other activities that involve substantial cost. If one party is awarded primary placement, the variable expenses do not need to be addressed. A Variable Expenses Worksheet (PDF)must be completed and signed if the placement ratio is anything other than on party awarded primary physical placement. This worksheet is available on the Forms and Documents Link and at the Family Court Commissioner's Office.
- Healthcare Insurance / Out-of-Pocket Healthcare Expenses. The agreement must explain what spouse is carrying all types healthcare insurance for the minor child(ren) after the final hearing. (For example health, dental, vision, burial). If that spouse is seeking reimbursement for one-half of the premium cost of the healthcare insurance, there must be proof of the cost of the insurance specifically incurred on behalf of the minor child(ren). The one-half of the proven insurance premium cost can either increase or decrease the child support paid, depending on which spouse is carrying the healthcare coverage for the child(ren). Include the cost information in the child support section of the agreement. It is possible that no credit for the healthcare insurance premium cost will be awarded if there are child(ren) from a previous relationship.
- Right to Claim the Child(ren) as Dependent(s) for Income Tax Purposes. The agreement must state which parent is entitled to claim the minor child(ren) as dependent(s) for income tax purposes.?
- Annual Exchange of Information. In an action in which there is a child support order, including an action to revise a judgment, the court requires the parties to annually exchange financial information. The Marital Settlement Agreement requires the parties to include a date at which time they will have exchanged the financial information. The date chosen should be after January 31st to insure that W-2 information has been received by each party. However, some parties choose to use the end of April of each year so that filed federal and state income tax returns are exchanged. The annual exchange of financial information may include, W-2's, filed federal and state income tax returns (typically when a party is self-employed), year end paycheck stubs.
If either party is receiving any public assistance benefits at any time, you must provide your Marital Settlement Agreement to the Oconto County Child Support Agency for approval prior to your final hearing.
3. Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Judgment - The final document signed by the court official that sets out the court's findings of fact concerning the marriage. A Marital Settlement Agreement approved by the Court or Divorce Judgment Addendum is to accompany this document
- Form Number FA-4160VA (PDF) - Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Judgment with minor children; OR
- Form Number FA-4161VA (PDF) - Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Judgment without minor children
4. Parties Approval of Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Judgment - The final document signed by the parties that approves the Court's findings of fact concerning the marriage, the conclusions of law that apply and the Judgment of Divorce or Legal Separation.
- Form Number FA-4160VB (PDF) - Parties Approval of Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Judgement with minor children; OR
- Form Number FA-4161VB (PDF) - Parties Approval of Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Judgement without minor children
5. Divorce/Annulment Worksheet - A worksheet to be completed by both parties in which the Clerk of Courts must file with the State Vital Records Office.
- The Divorce/Annulment Worksheet (PDF) is also available at the Family Court Commissioner's Office.
6. Confidential Petition Addendum - A document completed by both parties to provide a method for individuals to provide information to the court concerning social security numbers in a confidential manner. You may have already completed this document and filed it when the action was started.
- Form Number GF-179 (PDF) - Confidential Petition Addendum
The Family Court Commissioner may not proceed with the stipulated divorce/legal separation hearing if the above-referenced documents are not completed and submitted for review prior to the scheduled hearing.