Divorce Residency Rules

You must be a resident to file for Divorce in Wisconsin

30 days hath September, April, June and…the residency requirement for Divorce filing!

If you are filing for divorce or legal separation in the State of Wisconsin, you or your future ex-spouse must be a resident of the county where you file your action for at least 30 days before you file. One of you must also have lived in the State of Wisconsin for 6 months before filing; however, you may be able to file a legal separation after 30 days. This is important to keep in mind if you are planning to file for divorce or legal separation and both spouses are moving out of the marital residence. If both of you move to a new county, neither of you can file the divorce until you’ve resided in your new county for at least 30 days.

This may seem like a simple rule to keep in mind, but in certain parts of our state it’s easier said than done to keep track of your county. In the Fox Valley alone, Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, and Kaukauna each cross into multiple counties. In Northeastern Wisconsin, Pulaski, Wrightstown, Howard, and Pittsfield also have borders that span multiple counties.

Looking for an easy way to figure out what county your new residence is in? Enter your address into the United States Post Service ZIP Code search.  Want to double check beyond that? Look up the property tax bill for your new residence on your county or municipality webpage. Don’t let a change of address cause a delay in getting the divorce process started.

A blog post prepared by Attorney Steffanie Walczak.