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Helpful Articles: After A Divorce

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

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%…
March 13th, 2017

What constitutes a “substantial change in circumstances” in Wisconsin?

We throw about the term "substantial change in circumstances" like everyone in the world would know what we are talking about. So, what does it mean and when does it apply? When you are divorced, and if you plan to modify financial support orders, whether it be child support, family support or maintenance, you are…
March 10th, 2017

Who keeps the tax refund?

This is the time of year that we field a lot of questions from clients, and people seeking general information on how to file their income tax returns and who gets to keep the tax refund. People going through a divorce start to think that if they file separate, but married income taxes for the…
February 28th, 2017

Forgiveness of Child support Arrears

There have been a flurry of questions posed on some of the "ask lawyer" web sites like AVVO and LAWYERS.COM about whether a person can file a motion or request with the court to be relieved of their built up child support arrearages. The answer is no. The only person who can compromise or forgive…
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 9th, 2017

How Many Bedrooms Does a Parent Need in Wisconsin?

A frequently asked child custody question in divorce cases is whether or not Wisconsin has a law that requires each child to have their own bedroom? what about their own bed? Can children sleep together? Is there an age cutoff? What if the children are sleeping on the couch? bunk beds? sleeping bags? on the…
February 7th, 2017

Supervised visitation; When is it ordered in Wisconsin?

I answer a lot of questions trying to help people on the law sites, AVVO and LAWYERS.COM. Many of them have to do with visitation disputes, and in particular, people are concerned that their former spouse or ex boyfriend or girlfriend is a potential danger or threat to their children. They want to know under…
January 18th, 2017

Maintenance; How long in Wisconsin?

One of the issues that creeps up when dealing with a maintenance issue (spousal support), is the question of how long should the term of maintenance be. Today's blog will address the various scenarios for the length or term of maintenance. 1. HOLD OPEN. I have discussed this issue in a blog from last year…
November 28th, 2016

When does child support end in Wisconsin?

When you are under a support obligation for little children, it seems as though that obligation for support may never go away. At some point though, a parent no longer is obligated to pay support. When, under Wisconsin law does that duty end? The answer lies in sec. 767.511 (4) and reads as follows; "AGE…
November 1st, 2016

Paternity Jurisdiction over a non-resident in Wisconsin

Today we are exploring how the courts in Wisconsin has the power to determine paternity over a person who doesn't live in this state. Since we live in a transient society, this happens more often than you might have thought. The answer to how the court can exercise jurisdiction lies in sec. 769.201 of the…
October 7th, 2016

Access to Children’s records under Wisconsin’s custody laws

If you get divorced in Wisconsin and the other parent has custody, are you foreclosed from receiving copies of your children's medical, dental and school records? The answer lies at sec. 767.41 (7) of the Wisconsin Statutes; (7) ACCESS TO RECORDS. (a) Except under par. (b), or unless otherwise ordered by the court, access to…
August 19th, 2016

Ex Parte orders

How hard is it to go to court and have the judge or court commissioner sign an order, without a court hearing and without the other party being present to object? The answer is "very" at least in family court cases, and the likelihood that the judge or court commissioner would sign such an order…
August 18th, 2016

Family Support- What is it?

Family support is a hybrid of child support and maintenance combined together. It allows the person who  is paying to deduct the payments, assuming all the requirements of sec. IRC 71 and 215 are met, and requires the payee to report the payments as taxable income. Child support is non taxable-non deductible. Maintenance (spousal support…
July 21st, 2016

Joint Decision Making

We field a lot of questions with persons who have been divorced who don't seem to have a full understanding of what joint custody of minor children means. They wind up making a decision about the child, without consulting or informing the other parent, and once their ex spouse learns of the decision, they wind…
May 2nd, 2016

Can An Adult Child Sue Or Go After Their Parents For Neglect In Medical Care?

In an interesting story out of Idaho, a 20 year old woman with a serious life long heart defect, blames her parents for failing to get her the proper medical care that could have medically corrected the problem. Her parents did not trust modern medicine and now she wants her parents to face justice. She…
April 6th, 2016

Can You Deduct Temporary Maintenance Payments?

It is tax season. I am frequently asked if a person who is obligated under a temporary court order may deduct those maintenance (spousal support) payments, from their taxes. While there is no specific I.R.S. rule that says you can't deduct them, one would need to comply with all of the conditions and terms under…
February 22nd, 2016

Hold Open Child Support?

The other day on one of the "ask lawyer" internet web sites, someone posted a question of whether you could waive or hold open child support. The answer to the former is no and the answer to the latter is yes. You cannot waive child support pursuant to a martial settlement agreement, as it is…
August 25th, 2015

Will the court let me move out of Wisconsin with the children?

In Wisconsin, 767.481 stats., spells out the specific rules and requirements for a parent's request to move either out of state, or more than 150 miles from the other parent within the state. There is some level of legal controversy over whether the so called "removal statute" applies in divorce cases and paternity cases. The…
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