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Helpful Articles: During A Divorce

What you need to know, do, and what to expect during a divorce.

March 21st, 2018

Can one attorney represent both parties in a divorce in Wisconsin? part 2

The other day I wrote a blog on whether one lawyer can represent both parties in a divorce case. The traditional view has been that the attorney cannot do so as it is an inherent conflict of interest. I subscribe to the traditional view. However, there is a countervailing view under the new Wisconsin's limited…
March 7th, 2018

Waiver of 6 month waiting period for remarriage in Wisconsin

Periodically,  I am asked, if there is a way to waive the statutory 6 month waiting period in Wisconsin before one can get remarried. The law basically states that if you are divorced in Wisconsin, you cannot remarry anywhere in the world for a period of 6 months, and if you should do so, the…
January 19th, 2018

Release of medical records in a custody battle.

The other day I wrote a blog on the physician- patient privilege in Wisconsin, and under what circumstances it can be waived. One of those circumstances under Wisconsin law does not cover when parties are contesting custody of their minor children. So, the question becomes what is a party required to do when the court…
October 24th, 2017

Recorded Telephone Conversations in Wisconsin

An interesting question is whether someone can record a telephone conversation in Wisconsin and then use that as evidence in a courtroom as part of going through a divorce or separation case? Wisconsin is a  "one party"  wiretap state. It is not necessarily illegal to wiretap or record someone, without their knowledge or consent. Whether…
October 18th, 2017

Court Sanctions in Wisconsin

Sometimes litigants going through a civil matter, do not understand the significance of complying with court orders or rules and laws that govern pre-trial matters. There is a duty to cooperate with discovery under Chapter 804; that means timely complying with discovery requests, such as written interrogatories, that must be answered under oath within 30…
August 30th, 2017

Buying a new car in the middle of a divorce

Sometimes in the middle of a divorce, your car breaks down and you realize that it is time to replace that old junker and get a new car. Can you do that in the middle of a divorce? If so, is it marital property? Can you take a loan out on the car? What happens…
April 10th, 2017

Admission of Personal Service

The other day I discussed whether it mattered who filed first. In most cases it routinely does not, but if the parties are separated and living in different counties, or different states, it can certainly matter, and where minor children are involved, can affect jurisdiction of the court to proceed. When filing for divorce in…
April 5th, 2017

Waiver of Maintenance in Wisconsin

You are going through a divorce, and the proposed marital settlement agreement calls for a waiver or termination of maintenance payments at the time of the granting of the final divorce. You are not sure what that means, and whether you should waive or not. First off, what is maintenance? Maintenance is the right to…
March 27th, 2017

Lawyer Response Time

I take a lot of phone calls from people looking to replace their current lawyer and the number one complaint seems to be that their lawyer never calls them back. No one likes being ignored. What exactly should the response time be back from your lawyer? What is reasonable? What are your own expectations? What…
February 27th, 2017

When does child support start when divorcing in Wisconsin?

You have filed for divorce and requested child support in your initial petition for divorce, but no one has exactly explained how you go about to receive child support? How do you go about to receive child support? How is the amount determined? When does it start? Does your spouse pay it to you or…
February 24th, 2017

How to dismiss a divorce case in Wisconsin.

You filed for divorce and you have had second thoughts now about proceeding. Perhaps, you rushed into things too quickly, or were influenced by family and friends to file. Now that you are in the middle of the divorce, you and your husband have reconciled. How do you go about dismissing the divorce action? There…
February 21st, 2017

Motion De Novo Hearings in Wisconsin

I receive a lot of questions about Motions De Novo? What are they? What is the time line for appealing? Are you limited on appeal to only those issues that were raised at the first hearing, or can the court consider other issues or new issues that arise? Can the trial court refuse to do…
February 3rd, 2017

What to expect at a Wisconsin Domestic Abuse Hearing

You have filed for a domestic abuse restraining order and the matter has been scheduled for a court hearing or you are on the receiving end of a domestic abuse restraining order and need to prepare for court. What can you expect at the court hearing? How long will it take? Will there be testimony?…
January 21st, 2017

Reconciliation in the middle of a divorce case.

While it doesn't happen all that often, sometimes a couple has second thoughts in the middle of the case about proceeding with a final divorce hearing. I remember one of the first divorce cases I handled early in my career. It was a case for my brother and he asked that I do the final…
January 5th, 2017

Cohabitation can affect maintenance payments in Wisconsin

Under Wisconsin law, when you are receiving maintenance payments (better commonly known as "alimony") and if you get remarried, your payments automatically stop under Wisconsin law. What happens, if you live with someone instead? Do your payments automatically stop? Under the law in this state, cohabitation is a factor that the court can consider in…
December 15th, 2016

Does a birth certificate establish paternity in Wisconsin?

The answer to the headline to today's blog is no, at least not under Wisconsin law. This is a frequently asked question where people believe that if a person's name goes on the birth certificate, that legally establishes the person as being the biological father. This is legally incorrect. There are two ways that paternity…
November 11th, 2016

Simultaneous divorce filings

Every once in awhile, both parties will file for divorce at the same time. Does it matter? Which county? What if the parents live in different states? How is jurisdiction determined? What about if their are minor children involved? Generally, if both parents live here in Wisconsin and file for divorce, it is not really…
September 14th, 2016

Failure to exercise placement under Wisconsin custody laws

Under what authority can someone attempt to modify physical placement, based on the fact that one parent repeatedly and unreasonably fails to exercise their court ordered placement time with the minor children? This is not as uncommon a problem as you might expect. If you are the primary parent and have concerns when the other…
September 9th, 2016

De Novo Hearings in Wisconsin

We are asked many times if a person has a right to appeal a decision they disagree with from a contested family court commissioner hearing on their divorce or family law matter. The answer is yes, you do. The applicable statutory section falls under sec. 767.69 (8) and reads as follows; "Any decision of a…
August 29th, 2016

Does a divorce court need to approve a settlement agreement?

Someone posted a question at the one of the "ask lawyer" web sites whether the court has to approve a settlement agreement? Apparently, in a divorce, with both parties pro se, the parties had attempted to go into court to have their final marital settlement agreement approved so that they can could be divorced, and…
August 28th, 2016

What Happens if a Woman is Pregnant in the Middle of a Divorce

It happens every so often, that a woman going through a divorce will get pregnant. This is particularly important because it raises the following issues; (1) Will the court allow the divorce to be completed while the woman is pregnant? (2) Is there a legal presumption that the husband is the father? (3) What happens…
July 22nd, 2016

Substitution of Judge under Wisconsin law

Did you know that if you are going through a divorce, and you don't like a particular judge assigned to your case, that you have the right to substitute the judge? Well, you do, with some limitations. You also don't get to pick the new judge assigned the judge, you only have the right to…
July 6th, 2016

How to Reconcile during the divorce

In Wisconsin, there are two ways that a couple can try to reconcile during the divorce process. The first way, and the one that I routinely recommend to my clients who inquire about reconciling, is to enter into a 90 day agreement to put the divorce on hold while the parties work on their marriage.…
June 15th, 2016

Failure to File a Financial Disclosure Statement in Wisconsin

You are involved in a divorce and your spouse has decided to go at it alone without a lawyer. While they have a right to do that, they also at the same time, must comply with the laws and procedures under the family code, chapter 767 of the Wisconsin Statutes. One of those requirements, is…
May 20th, 2016

Selling off property in the middle of a divorce

Someone asked me the other day if you need money, can you start selling off property in the middle of the divorce? The answer is generally no, as there is a statutory prohibition for doing so, once the divorce is filed. There are some exceptions and I will cover those as well. WI STAT. 767.117…
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