Thought Leadership

Understanding The Differences Between Minnesota And Wisconsin Legal Issues

Though they are neighboring states and many residents go back and forth between the two, it is important to know that family law issues are handled very differently in Minnesota and Wisconsin. To fully understand the differences and how they can impact your case, keep reading this blog article.

Child Custody Terms

When dealing with child custody issues in the different states, it is important to realize that each has its own set of terms. While the general term that most people identify with is “child custody,” Minnesota laws refer to custody schedules as “parenting time” while Wisconsin calls it “physical placement.” The specific laws are similar, but any differences may have an impact on your individual situation. It is best to consult with your attorney before making any decisions about child custody or other issues.

Property Division Laws

Another divorce issue that is handled very differently in Minnesota and Wisconsin is how your property is distributed. Wisconsin is a community property state, meaning nearly all property is considered joint and divided between the parties 50-50. On the other hand, in Minnesota, property is divided according to the law of equitable distribution. This means that marital property and debts are divided fairly and equitably, but not necessarily 50-50. These very different laws mean that it is extremely important to know how filing for divorce in a particular state may impact your future.

Filing For Divorce

Since Minnesota and Wisconsin have different guidelines on how divorces are handled, it actually matters where you file for divorce. Filing in Minnesota may have a completely different impact on your life than filing in Wisconsin. You will need an experienced lawyer assess your specific situation and help determine where it is better for you to file for divorce.

If you would like to discuss this issue and how it relates to your situation, please contact Hellmuth & Johnson Family Law attorney Michelle Kniess by phone at 952-460-9259 or email at [email protected]

*This article was originally published on the Kniess Family Law website.