Wisconsin Property Division Factors

In Wisconsin, the property and debt issues are typically settled between the parties by a signed Marital Settlement Agreement or the property award is actually order and decreed by the Circuit Court within the Decree of Divorce.

Wisconsin is referred to as an "equitable distribution" state. When the parties are unable to reach a settlement, the Circuit Court will take the following approach to dividing the assets; First, it will go through a discovery process to classify which property and debt is to be considered marital. Next, it will assign a monetary value on the marital property and debt. Last, it will distribute the marital assets between the two parties in an equitable fashion. Equitable does not mean equal, but rather what is deemed by the Circuit Court to be fair.

The court shall consider the following, without regard to marital misconduct will consider all of the following: (1) The duration of the marriage. (2) The property brought to the marriage by each party. (3) Whether one of the parties has substantial assets not subject to division by the court. (4) The contribution of each party to the marriage, giving appropriate economic value to each party’s contribution in homemaking and child care services. (5) The age and physical and emotional health of the parties. (6) The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other. (7) The earning capacity of each party (8) The desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live therein for a reasonable period to the party having physical placement for the greater period of time. (9) The amount and duration of an order granting maintenance payments to either party, any order for periodic family support payments and whether the property division is in lieu of such payments. (10) Other economic circumstances of each party, including pension benefits, vested or unvested, and future interests. (11) The tax consequences to each party. (12) Any written agreement made by the parties before or during the marriage concerning any arrangement for property distribution. (13) Such other factors as the court may in each individual case determine to be relevant. (Wisconsin Statutes - Sections: 766.01, 766.97, 767.255)