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WI state divorce and legal separation laws, separating finance assets and liabilities without getting a divorce

Janesville, WI |

Wisconsin - legal separation vs divorce.

Is it possible to completely separate finances legally, without getting divorced? My spouse has an alcohol addiction and has been arrested several times for drunk driving. I'm afraid that he may kill someone someday and I will be legally responsible.

I need to know how to stay married, but untie all our finances. I am the breadwinner, and he is in jail most of the time. However, I would like to keep my health insurance coverage on him, as he will need it.

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Attorney answers 2


Wisconsin Law allows parties to file for legal separation if "the marriage is broken" but not irretrievably broken. Many times, parties will file for legal separation for precisely the reason that you list, to undo finances but to maintain health insurance coverage. If the parties choose, they may move the court within a year after the entry of the legal separation order for a judgment of divorce.

Just a caution, however, check with your medical insurance provider to determine whether a legal separation will void your spouse's health insurance coverage under the terms of the policy.


Be very careful about insurance providers; they are getting much more strict on allowing even legally separated spouses from remaining on their insurance. Usually only government employers or very large corporations have the kind of coverage that allows such a continuation.

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