Even after you have made the painful decision to divorce your spouse, you may not be ready to discuss this choice with them. It may not even be safe to bring up the topic in an abusive or otherwise problematic relationship, yet you are also facing the prospect of getting your ex to consent to sign the divorce papers. Before you can do that, though, you first have to file for divorce. Does your soon-to-be-ex partner have to file with you, or can you file separately in Wisconsin courts and save yourself the argument?
You can file separately. In fact, it is a fairly routine procedure, as described by Wisconsin's courts in their divorce guide. You may make the choice to initiate divorce proceedings solely on your own. However, your spouse must still be served with divorce papers, and it may lead to a temporary hearing if your spouse contests the divorce or any issues such as child custody, asset distribution or property ownership. This hearing may be required before the papers can even be properly filed, and separately from more official hearings regarding custody agreements and division of assets.
If you feel unsafe with your spouse, filing alone can at least spare you some of the hardship, but you may need to take other measures to protect yourself and your children during divorce proceedings and the process of moving out. Wisconsin courts offer a number of options to protect yourself and your family in this event.
This has been an informational post only, and should not be considered a substitute for legal advice.