Beaver Dam Divorce Lawyers | Dodge County

A divorce can be an emotionally trying experience. It’s a process that can become complicated and overwhelming, depending upon the facts of your case. Gergen, Gergen & Pretto, does not recommend that you go through this legal action without experienced and competent legal representation. Even if you believe that agreements can be reached on all of your issues, it is important for parties to understand the ramifications of agreements reached, the necessity to make full and complete financial disclosure and the importance of the drafting of appropriate documents to resolve your case the way you think it is being resolved.


Wisconsin is known as a “no-fault” divorce state. This means you cannot allege that your spouse is at fault for your separation. Rather, the grounds for divorce in Wisconsin is an allegation that the marriage is “irretrievably broken”.

At least one party in the marriage must have resided in the State of Wisconsin for at least six months immediately preceding the commencement of the divorce action and in that particular county in which they reside for at least 30 days.


Custody and placement arrangements are often the most emotional part of any divorce. Working out a placement schedule between you and the other parent can often be difficult. The courts in Wisconsin begin with the presumption that having frequent and regular contact with both parents is in a child’s best interest. Custody and placement are different legal concepts in Wisconsin and the attorneys at Gergen, Gergen & Pretto can explain these legal terms to you and work with you to put together a plan for a placement schedule that you believe is in the best interests of your child.


The Courts will always address the issue of financial support for the children in any action af-fecting the family in Wisconsin. Child support is determined based upon a number of factors in-cluding each parent’s income or earning capacity and additional financial resources as well as the placement schedule of the children with both parents. There are guidelines the courts use in de-termining an appropriate amount of child support in each case.


Property division is governed by Section 767.61 of the Wisconsin Statutes and by the relevant case law in Wisconsin. Upon every judgment of divorce or legal separation Wisconsin courts shall divide the property of the parties which include assets as well as debts. It is important that gifted or inherited property be identified and, if necessary, traced back to the date of the original gift or inheritance. Gifted or inherited property is treated as not subject to division at divorce. (with limited exception) With regard to marital property, the court starts with the presumption

that all property that is not gifted or inherited is to be divided equally between the parties. How-ever, there are many factors the court will consider in deviating from a 50/50 division. Trial courts are charged with making property divisions that are fair and equitable to both parties un-der all the factual circumstances of your particular case.


In light of the cost of retaining competent legal representation, many parties to a divorce action are turning to the “do it yourself” divorce methods. While Wisconsin allows you to proceed pro se and use standard “fill in the blank” forms which are available in any clerk of court’s office, in most cases, it is far more advantageous and less costly in the long run for parties to seek the guidance of an experienced and competent divorce attorney so that mistakes aren’t made, the pa-perwork is drafted appropriately, all assets and debts are identified and documents you sign re-flect what your agreement actually is. Many parties fill out these forms without consulting an attorney, don’t understand what they are signing up for, don’t understand the ramifications of what they are agreeing to and later have to hire an attorney to “undo” the mistakes that were made the first time around proceeding pro se. It is far better and far less costly to have compe-tent and experienced legal representation in your divorce and “get it right the first time.”


At Gergen, Gergen & Pretto, S.C., we know divorces can be emotional and draining processes. Your life and the lives of your family members are in a state of change. Dawn Gergen has over 30 years of experience in practicing family law. She can help you navigate the often turbulent and overwhelming waters going through the legal process of a divorce action or an action for a legal separation. Contact us for information and get started with a free case evaluation today.