Family & Divorce

COVID-19 vaccines are becoming another battleground for divorced parents. Some protracted disagreements have required the appointment of a guardian ad litem to make a recommend for what serves the child’s best interest.
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Last month’s column took a look back at the developments in family law for 2021. So, it seems appropriate to dedicate this month’s column to a look ahead to 2022.

Of course, any “look ahead” needs to be prefaced with a quote from my favorite philosopher, Yogi Berra: “Predictions are very difficult to make – especially about the future.”

For over ten years, I have put together a family-law case and legislation-update program for the State Bar of
Continue Reading Look Ahead to 2022 with Family Law

Unemployment has reached a record low in Wisconsin. If your ex has been given a reprieve from or reduction in child support payments based on their employment status, it may be time to revisit their circumstances and modify your child support order accordingly.
The post The Connection Between Unemployment and Child Support appeared first on Kowalski Wilson & Vang, LLC.
Continue Reading The Connection Between Unemployment and Child Support

Attorneys who practice law in the child welfare system play a variety of roles – agency representation, guardian ad litem or youth attorney, parent attorney, judicial officer – but one thing is almost certain: they will have some level of interaction with parents of the children involved in their cases. How much value is given to a parent’s perspective or input may vary greatly, but hearing that voice is a vital part to child welfare transformation. While Wisconsin works
Continue Reading Incorporating Lived Experience in Wisconsin’s Child Welfare System

Your child support modifications may not generate headlines, but they are important to pursue if there has been a material change in circumstances or your custody arrangement has been altered.…
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It’s time for my annual year in review – a look back at those new cases and statutes in family law which improve this area of law and those which, well, not so much.

As usual, there are more of the latter than the former. Sigh.

The biggest disappointment was the failure of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin to clarify one of the most common questions in this area of law: What is the difference between a judgment of
Continue Reading Family Law Year in Review: Looking Back at What Happened in 2021

Family law actions are expensive to maintain, both for the client who is seeking a favorable outcome, and for the attorney who may not be timely paid. When one of the parties to a case is uncooperative, highly adversarial, or less than forthright, the costs of the case may escalate – to the detriment of both client and counsel.Four Wisconsin statutes authorize the recovery of attorney’s fees for clients (and sometimes their attorneys) in family law cases. Two apply
Continue Reading Pursuing Attorney's Fees in Family Law Cases

Marathon County DHS v. S.K., 2021AP1124 & 2021AP1125, District 3, 11/18/21 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity

The circuit court granted partial summary judgment on the petitions to terminate the parental rights of S.K. (“Sarah”) for failure to assume parental responsibility of her two daughters. The court of appeals reverses, holding there are genuine issues of material fact that require a trial on the grounds for the petitions.

Sarah’s daughters were removed from her home due to
Continue Reading Summary Judgment on TPR Grounds Reversed

Are you spending the holidays without your children this year? Whether this is the first time or a predictable part of your co-parenting agreement, it can be rough. Here are some tips for surviving the holidays when you’re alone.

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As it stands, Wisconsin has no training requirements for those who volunteer and are appointed as a guardian, but a bill currently before the Wisconsin Legislature may change that.

Senate Bill 92 proposes a list of requirements and training that a potential guardian must go through before taking guardianship.

Over time, it has become clear that some guardians can lack the adequate knowledge and or resources necessary for effectively carrying out their role. It is of vital importance to
Continue Reading The Proposed Guardian Training Requirement: Consequences for Petitioners