Divorce

  1. Vaccination Disputes in Child Custody Matters

    When Parents Disagree on the COVID-19 Vaccination The Food and Drug Administration just announced that children 12 to 15 years old are now eligible to receive the Pfizer Covid vaccine. Children as young as 6 months old may soon be able to receive the vaccine after ongoing clinical trials are complete. But what happens when…

  2. When can we legally sell or refinance the house in a divorce?

    The Answer Depends on Your Goals (and Your Relationship with your Spouse). Whether or not you sell or refinance your house will depend on several considerations: Does one of you want to keep living in the house? Can that person afford the house on his or her own? How good is your credit? Can you…

  3. Is it illegal to change locks during a divorce?

    No. It is not illegal to change the locks . . . however, it can get complicated. Changing Locks During Separation or Divorce Legal Separation and Divorce are virtually the same in Wisconsin. They both legally end a marriage and the legal process is nearly identical for both. Therefore, this article applies equally to legal…

  4. What Happens With Stimulus Payments in a Divorce?

    Are you and your spouse living apart? Are you wondering where your stimulus check will land? What happens if your spouse takes your check? And do parents have to share stimulus money received for the children? Why did we each get stimulus checks for the same child? Learn the answers to these questions and more!…

  5. What Happens To An Adopted Child During (and After) A Divorce?

    Did you and your spouse adopt a child? Did you adopt your stepchild and make him your own? Are you worried that adopted children may be treated differently in a divorce? Parents of adopted children need not fear! Read on for reassurance about how your relationship with an adopted child continues after a divorce. Modern…

  6. Who Gets the Dog in a Divorce?

    You’ve heard of unhappy couples “staying together for the children,” but what if those “children” are fur babies? Some pet parents care as much for their animals as other parents do for their human children. But is there such a thing as “pet custody?” Who gets the dog in a divorce? Read on to find…

  7. Child Custody vs. Child Placement: What is the Difference?

    Custody and Placement are two family law concepts that are often confused or used interchangeably. However, they are very different and are, in some ways, not even related! In Wisconsin, child custody refers to the right of a parent to make major decisions for the child. Major decisions include such things as consent to marry,…

  8. How Does the Court Decide the Custody and Placement of Children?

    Karp & Iancu S.C. explains the factors a court or Guardian ad Litem considers when determining placement and custody of a child and helps you understand which factors might be most important in your case. From the concept of joint decision-making to the goal of maximizing time with each parent, keep reading to learn how…

  9. May a Woman Use Her Former Surname After Divorce?

    Find out who is eligible for a name change upon divorce, how to change your name, and what your spouse can do to stop you. Also learn whether you can force your spouse to stop using your last name and what statute applies to name changes at the time of divorce. Yes. At the time…

  10. How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce?

    A Minimum of Four to Six months (or More). It takes a long time to get divorced in Wisconsin. In fact, it takes longer in Wisconsin than in almost any other state. This is because Wisconsin has a mandatory 120-day “cooling off” period between the time a divorce is filed and the time it can…

  11. 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….

  12. COVID-19 Pandemic & Divorce: What You Need To Know

    We’ve Temporarily Taken Our Practice Digital Thanks to technology, our attorneys can still offer the same award-winning service to their Milwaukee-area clients despite the current pandemic. Fill out the form below to set up a 100% confidential, no-pressure online divorce consultation. Prefer to call? (414) 453-0800 During this time, our staff and attorneys continue to…

  13. 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….

  14. 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?…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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”…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  21. Dismissing a divorce

    Every once in awhile, someone will file a divorce or legal separation and then change their mind about it. How does one properly go and dismiss a divorce or separation case that has been filed with the court? Voluntary notice of dismissal. If you haven’t yet personally served your spouse, or if they have been…

  22. 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…

  23. Bringing false charges of abuse in a divorce

    It has happened numerous times in my career, that at the onset of a divorce action, one of the parties is accused of abuse, whether it be domestic violence against their abuse, or in some cases, child abuse. These allegations are brought contemporaneously with the divorce or separation filing, usually to get an upper hand…

  24. 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?…

  25. “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…

  26. What to expect at a divorce pre-trial conference?

    On some of the law related web sites, such as AVVO and Lawyers.com, individuals going through a divorce not represented by attorneys, frequently ask what is a pre-trial conference and what is going to happen at the pre-trial? When  and how scheduled? The pre-trial conference is typically scheduled following the 120 day statutory waiting period….

  27. 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…

  28. 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…

  29. 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…

  30. 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…

  31. 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…

  32. 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…

  33. 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…

  34. 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…

  35. 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…

  36. 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…

  37. 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…

  38. 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…

  39. 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?…

  40. 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…

  41. 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…

  42. 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…

  43. 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…

  44. 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…

  45. 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…

  46. 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…

  47. 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…

  48. 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…

  49. 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….

  50. 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…