Wisconsin and Minnesota have differences in their family law. Sometimes, the differences are slight and it is just the wording that varies. Other times, however, the laws are completely different between the two states.
While going through a divorce in a family law court, it is important to hire competent, experienced representation. Don’t think that you can fully learn the nuances of family law and successfully represent yourself. The Duluth Family Lawyer, Benjamin Kaasa, is an attorney who cares and had extensive experience in family law. He practices in both Wisconsin and Minnesota and is thoroughly familiar with the laws of both states and their differences.
The residency requirements before one can file for divorce in Wisconsin and Minnesota are similar but with an important difference. In Minnesota, one has to have resided in the state for at least 180 days before filing for a divorce. In Wisconsin, the requirement is six months. However, there is the additional requirement of residency within the county in which one files for at least 30 days.
The division of property differs dramatically between Wisconsin and Minnesota. Wisconsin is a community property state, with a few limited exceptions. This means that the marital property is considered to belong to both spouses and will be divided equally between them in the event of a divorce.
Minnesota has an equitable distribution system. In this system, marital assets are not necessarily evenly split between the divorcing spouses. Many factors are considered when dividing property in Minnesota, such as contributions to the marriage and names on deeds and titles. The goal is not to divide the property evenly, but rather fairly, though a spouse can contest the division.
Mandatory Waiting Period
Wisconsin and Minnesota differ with respect to waiting periods after a divorce petition is filed. Minnesota does not have a mandatory waiting period after one of the spouses files for divorce. In Wisconsin, however, there is a mandatory 120-day waiting period before the divorce can proceed. This period begins with the initial serving of papers, although it can be bypassed for emergencies and other important considerations.
Child Support can work very differently in the two states. In Wisconsin, the parents can set child support payments using the Percentage of Income Standard guidelines. This means that if one parent gets sole custody, 17% of the income of the non-custodial parent will be used to support one child, 25% for two children, 29% for three children and up to 34% for five children. If there is shared custody, the numbers will change.
In Minnesota, there are state guidelines for child support. If the parents cannot come to an agreement during mediation, the court can order child support based on these guidelines.
Your state of reside can have a large effect on the outcome of your divorce case. While many aspects of the two jurisdictions are broadly similar, there are some key differences. If you are thinking of filing for divorce, or if your spouse is going to or already has, it is vitally important that you get quality legal counseling and representation. Call Benjamin Kaasa today and get the consultation you need.