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Helpful Articles: Property, Debt, & Finances

Helpful information about finances and how it relates to divorce.

July 27th, 2021

Divorce Finances

How do you finance a divorce? It depends on how civil things are. We all know that divorce is an expensive process. However, there often isn’t enough attention given to how divorce affects finances. The cost of divorce will depend on a variety of factors: Namely, if mediation is needed, if the divorce is contested,…
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 (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

Financial Disclosure Statements in an Uncontested Divorce

In an uncontested divorce, the parties agree to end the marriage without litigation. Sometimes, they may even have laid out what each spouse will walk away with from the marriage. So why does each spouse have to share financials with each other? Why You Need a Financial Disclosure Statement There are two reasons for this.…
July 6th, 2020

The Importance of a Financial Disclosure Statement

When going through a divorce or legal separation, one of the most important documents you will need to complete is a financial disclosure statement under oath. In Wisconsin, there is a strong emphases on the importance of this financial disclosure statement, which is to be completed by both parties on an annual basis. Financial Disclosure…
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?…
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…
August 3rd, 2019

How Will Divorce Affect My Taxes in Wisconsin?

Tax reform is an important topic in the news currently, in part due to the fact that the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act have a significant impact on what happens to people’s taxes when they are getting a divorce in Wisconsin. Common Wisconsin Tax Deductions and Exemptions Most people are aware that when you…
July 20th, 2019

What To Do If You Cannot Afford a Divorce Lawyer

[caption id="attachment_7172" align="alignleft" width="300"] David B. Karp[/caption] A frequently asked question when going through a divorce is what to do if you need an attorney, but cannot afford one. What are the alternatives and where can one find help? 1. Pubic Defenders - Some people are under the misconception that if they cannot afford an…
June 28th, 2019

How low can you go?

Sometimes when people are going thru a divorce, they start to fight over the most petty and sometimes silly things. I thought it might make for an interesting blog to discuss some of the things that I have seen over the years and things you should definitely NOT be arguing about when going through a divorce.…
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;…
February 4th, 2019

When do “variable costs” apply in Wisconsin?

What are "variable costs?"  Wisconsin DCF 150 (29) defines "variable costs" as the reasonable costs above basic support costs incurred by or on behalf of a child, including but not limited to the cost of child care, tuition, a child's special needs, and other activities that involve substantial cost.   2. When do "variable costs"…
January 5th, 2019

Are section 71 payments extinct in Wisconsin?

It's a new year, and with the new year, bring sweeping changes in the tax code as it affects maintenance payments. Under the 2017  Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, for any new cases after 1/1/19,  one can no longer deduct maintenance (alimony) payments, nor are they taxable income to the recipient.  In light of that,…
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

What is a QDRO and do I need one? 

QDROs are specialized court orders used to divide qualified retirement assets. What is a QDRO and how does it work? “QDRO” (commonly pronounced “cue-droh” or “kwah-droh”) is an acronym that stands for Qualified Domestic Relations Order. A QDRO is a special kind of court order that is required to divide certain retirement assets (typically defined…
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…
May 1st, 2018

Who gets the Diamond Ring?

When getting a divorce, who gets to keep the diamond engagement/wedding ring? When a couple are engaged and do not get married, in Wisconsin, the law is the ring gets returned to the person who bought it, irrespective of who broke off the engagement. The ring must be returned. What happens in a divorce case?…
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 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…
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…
November 2nd, 2017

Contingency Fees in Family law Cases?

I was asked recently if we could handle a divorce for a contingent fee, much like personal injury lawyers charge 1/3 for representing victims in accident cases. It is an interesting thought. Since 50-70% of all family law cases are pro se litigants, if a person going through a divorce or other family law case…
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 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…
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