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Helpful Articles: After A Divorce

What you need to know and expect after a divorce is finalized.

October 14th, 2020

Paying Maintenance Arrears in Wisconsin

You Probably Can't Avoid It. This article was originally written by attorney David Karp  and published on wisbar.org (link). When two people file for divorce, depending on differing levels of income, one spouse may be owed financial support from the other spouse with respect to child support, family support payments, or maintenance payments. Spousal maintenance…
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…
June 16th, 2020

Annual Exchange of Financial Information in Wisconsin

Over the last few days, I have fielded a number of questions dealing with the law in Wisconsin that requires an annual exchange of financial information when divorced with children. Many don't even know the law exists, or there is a such a requirement. Others ask me, what is the due date for the exchange?…
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?…
April 29th, 2019

When does a divorce agreement become binding?

There is a fair amount of misconceptions about the legalities of agreements when going through a divorce. Today's blog, tackles some of those myths and resolves the question when and how does  a divorce agreement become binding? Handshake deals.  Informal agreements between the parties, what are commonly known as a "handshake deal" clearly are not legally…
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…
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 18th, 2018

Who pays the QDRO fee?

    I am seeing more and more cases where parties are fighting over who pays the QDRO fee to have an order drafted for the division of a retirement plan. There is certainly one way to avoid that battle. Spell out in your settlement agreements who has to pay for the QDRO draft. Routinely,…
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…
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…
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…
April 6th, 2018

Collecting on your ex spouse’s social security

A lot of people going through a divorce, may not know or realize that they may be eligible at retirement age, to start drawing social security on their ex spouse's account. In order to do so, you must meet certain rules as outlined by the Social Security Administration. Forty three percent of unmarried older U.S.…
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…
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…
January 9th, 2018

Child dependency exemption under the Tax Cuts and Job Act

I have been receiving numerous inquiries on whether under the Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017, has affected the ability to still claim your children or dependents as an exemption. The Tax Cuts and Job Act has eliminated any personal exemptions. Instead, the new tax law has boosted the standard deduction and increased the…
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…
September 30th, 2017

Restricted and Supervised Visitation

When a party going through a divorce is concerned that the other parent may pose a risk to the children, what safeguards can be put in place by the court to protect the children during their periods of placement? First, there must be a showing that the parent poses a legitimate risk of exposing the…
September 8th, 2017

What happens when QDRO fees are not paid.

It is a frequent problem when completing a divorce case, that where there are retirement benefits to divide, one of the parties fails to pay their portion of the drafting fees, and the QDROs do not get completed. Completing the QDROs (qualified domestic relations orders) is essential for the protection of the non-employee spouse, to…
May 5th, 2017

Collecting Retroactive Child Support in Wisconsin

When can you collect back child support owed? From the birth of the children? From the time you separate? From the time you file a motion with the court? From the time the other party is served with the motion for court? From the time you are in court and the court orders support? Under…
May 2nd, 2017

Curbside Pickup

You are going through a divorce and one of the lawyers or the guardian ad litem mentions that during the exchange of the children, there should be "curbside pickup." You shake your head not having any idea what "curbside pickup" means, why it is necessary, and what effect, if it may have on your children.…
April 24th, 2017

Child support errors- Pro se Litigants

I have done a number of recent blogs about mistakes pro se litigants make. No, I am not picking on people who represent themselves when getting a divorce. Instead, the purpose of this series of blogs on the topic, is to avoid other people going through a divorce making similar mistakes. As many as 50%…
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