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How do you terminate a domestic partnership in Wisconsin?

If you and your partner wish to terminate your union in Wisconsin, whether it be due to irreconcilable differences, marriage or any other reason, you need to do more than just walk away. Your partnership, like marriage, is a legally binding agreement that ties you and your partner together in much the same way that a marital contract would. Because of this, you need to terminate the union in a legal fashion.

Per Chapter 770, Domestic Partnership, of Wisconsin State Legislature, you can begin the process of terminating your domestic partnership by filing a notice of dissolution of your partnership with the clerk of the county in which you lived at the time of establishing your union. You must also pay a fee and ensure that one or both parties signed the notice. You must also have the notice notarized.

If you are the only party to sign the notice, you must file an affidavit with the court that states one of two things. The first is that the non-signing party received written notice via a court server informing him or her that you filed a notice of termination with the county clerk. The second is that you tried but failed to find your partner after putting forth reasonable effort to do so.

If you cannot find your partner after making a concerted effort, the courts require you to post a printed notice via newspaper, pamphlet or another periodical to which your partner has reasonable access. You only need to publish the notice once.

Upon receipt of the signed and notarized notice of termination, the affidavit and the fee, the county clerk will issue to you a certificate of termination of domestic partnership. Once you receive the certificate, you must submit record of termination to the register of deeds in the county in which you established your domestic partnership. Once you have completed all of the requisite steps, the county clerk will terminate your domestic partnership within 90 days.

If you or your domestic partner enters into a marriage contract that Wisconsin recognizes as valid, the state will automatically terminate your domestic partnership. This is true regardless of whether the marriage is between you and your partner, you and another person or your partner and another person. 

The content shared here is designed to inform. It should not be used as legal advice. 

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