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Helpful Articles: Parenting

Helpful articles about parenting and divorce; including custody, child support, and more.

July 21st, 2020

Nesting: An Alternative Placement Arrangement

When most think of divorced families with children, they think of the children being shuffled to and from one parent’s house to the other. But there is another option–nesting arrangements. A nesting arrangement is when the children stay in the familial home and the parents rotate in and out depending on their placement schedule. A…
June 16th, 2020

Are Guardian Ad Litems Neutral?

The other day on one of the "ask lawyer" web sites, someone posted a note asking if court appointed guardian ad litems are neutral and unbiased? They felt the guardian ad litem was against them and were advocating their removal from the case. Most of the responses provided by other lawyers to the inquiry was…
October 31st, 2019

Child Support: How Do You Calculate Income?

[caption id="attachment_7172" align="alignnone" width="300"] David B. Karp[/caption] I was asked the other day when computing child support, what should you be looking at?  Should you be looking at current income, last year's income, year to date income, or some combination of all the above? What is the most accurate portrayal of a person's income for…
June 10th, 2019

When can you request a change in Custody in Wisconsin?

We take numerous inquiries day in and day out from individuals who have gone through a family law case and are interested in changing custody. How does one go about it? Are there time restricitions for doing so? What is the burden of proof? What type of evidence does one need to modify the existing orders?…
June 5th, 2019

Is the Wisconsin so-called “grandparents visitation statute” unconstitutional?

Family lawyers through out the state of Wisconsin have been closely following a case before the Wisconsin Supreme Court dealing with grandparent's visitation rights in the state of Wisconsin. On May 24, 2019, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued it's decision in the Michels v. Kelsey case, 2019 WI 57. The Wisconsin Supreme Court accepted certification…
April 30th, 2019

150 miles or 100 miles? Which Wisconsin law applies?

I receive a fair number of phone calls and on line inquiries about what a person is required to do to move away following a divorce. What notice is required? Do I have to file a motion? What reasons do  I need to move? How long will the process take? How much will it cost?…
April 25th, 2019

Child Custody Calculator in Wisconsin

CALCULATING CHILD CUSTODY IN WISCONSIN Is there a way to calculate who gets custody of minor children when going through a divorce in Wisconsin? There are basically two forms of placement of minor children in Wisconsin when going through a divorce; a. Primary Placement. This traditional placement arrangement puts the children primarily in one parent's home…
April 23rd, 2019

How to calculate child support in the state of Wisconsin

How do you calculate child support in the State of Wisconsin? The answer depends on what type of placement there is. Traditional placement. Where one parent has the child 75% or more of the time, and the other parent visits, the non-custodial parent pays a percentage of their gross monthly income for child support purposes;…
March 2nd, 2019

How to prove a parent is “unfit.”

Almost every other phone call or on line inquiry we receive, concerns a post judgment custody issue where someone wants to prove or allege the other parent is “unfit.” The idea is they want to obtain primary placement of the children, and in many cases, also involves pre-judgment matters. How do you go about proving…
December 12th, 2018

Can you get your own Guardian ad litem appointed?

Interestingly, over the last few days, several people have asked me the same question; that is, can you get your own guardian ad litem appointed, or bring some other person to court for your child as their guardian ad litem? The answer under Wisconsin law is "no."  The court appoints the guardian ad litem. Whenever…
December 3rd, 2018

Different placement arrangements in Wisconsin

  There is an old saying that "one size fits all," but when it comes to placement of minor children in a  divorce, there are a myriad of different placement arrangements that might work for one family, and for the next family it could be a train wreck. What works for one, doesn't necessarily equate…
November 14th, 2018

Day care expenses and child support

  You have little children at home and both of you work. You are going through a divorce and wonder how day care is going to be paid for. Does child support cover day care costs? Are day care costs covered separately over and above child support? Are day care costs considered "variable costs" and…
October 11th, 2018

Ex Parte Orders

  Litigants going through a divorce have a perception that nearly everything about their case is "urgent" or an "emergency." From the lawyer's perspective and the court's perspective, most of what the parties may feel is urgent or an emergency, rarely is. However, there are situations that truly are urgent and can be considered an…
October 4th, 2018

When a woman is married and pregnant from another man.

Many times in family law cases, we see situations where a woman becomes pregnant while still married. The husband by law, is presumed to be the biological father of the child. It complicates the divorce. If either the mother or her husband raise the issue with the trial court that the husband may not be…
September 5th, 2018

Challenging the Guardian ad litem

      The other day I wrote about the nuts and bolts of how a guardian ad litem conducts their investigation. What happens when you finally receive the recommendation, but you don't agree with it? Is there anything you can do to challenge the recommendation? There is a procedural challenge to either the investigatory…
August 11th, 2018

Revisions to Child support in Wisconsin

Effective July 1, 2018, there are changes to the child support laws in the state of Wisconsin. The standard for determining child support changed, including revising "variable costs" where parents have shared or equal placement of their children. Under the previous law, "variable costs" were defined as "the reasonable costs above basic support costs incurred…
June 2nd, 2018

Grandparents’ visitation rights at risk in Wisconsin?

  The Wisconsin Court of Appeals recently certified a case to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which accepted, could impact on grandparent's visitation rights in the state of Wisconsin. The case is Michels v. Lyons, 2017 AP 1142 and the issue as pointed out in the certification is to clarify the standard of proof required for a…
May 20th, 2018

Name on a birth certificate.

There probably isn’t a day that goes by where I read a question posted on Avvo or Lawyers.com or we receive at our web site, about placing the father’s name on a child’s birth certificate to determine that they are the father. We are obviously talking about a situation here where the child is born…
April 19th, 2018

Child support beyond 18?

Under Wisconsin law, child support ends at the 18th birthday, or if still in high school to graduate, no later than the 19th bitthday. People many times ask if there are circumstances to get support after that point? 1. A child with special needs. Under the current law, even though an adult child may have…
April 9th, 2018

Different ways to calculate child support in Wisconsin

Check out our simple-to-use Wisconsin Child Support Calculator here. When going through a divorce in Wisconsin, and where there are minor children involved, there are two different formulas for calculating child support. Many times, we see custody battles that are not really custody battles at all, but rather disguised child support concerns; more time, equals…
March 27th, 2018

“I want 50/50 placement!”

We meet with a lot of individuals going through a divorce who come  into the office and advocate that they want "50/50 placement." To me, that is like nails on a chalkboard because it really tells us nothing. It is particularly annoying when they make the same advocacy to the guardian ad litem and/or the…
March 24th, 2018

Relocation Bill passes both houses in Wisconsin

  A bill that was recently passed by both the State Assembly and now the State Senate changes the procedures for relocating a child's residence, when a court grants any periods of physical placement with a child to both parents and one parent intends to relocate and reside with the child away from the other…
March 1st, 2018

Meeting with the guardian ad litem

I have written a number of recent blogs, focused on guardian ad litem issues. Today's blog addresses the first interview with the guardian ad litem including what to expect and how to conduct yourself at the meeting. Let's paint the picture first.  You and your spouse are going through a divorce and cannot agree as…
February 28th, 2018

Guardian ad litems and home visits

I wrote in a blog last week about some of the activities and responsibilities of a guardian ad litem when custody or placement is contested. One of those activities sometimes involves the guardian ad litem wanting to make a home visit. This usually takes place when the other parent has raised issues over safety concerns…
February 23rd, 2018

Guardian ad litem recommendations

The other day I wrote about what a guardian ad litem's investigation typically consists of, when parents are in engaged in custody litigation over their minor children. Today's blog, focuses on what form the recommendation of the guardian ad litem takes and when one might expect to receive that recommendation. Assume that the parties are…
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