Family & Divorce


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By Attorney Gregg HermanMarch 21, 2023

There are frequent reminders for lawyers in Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programs and articles on the importance of civility among adversaries. Civility, like all good lessons, should flow from the top down, as children learn from their parents. In law, that means civility starts with the judges and court commissioners.
Recently, the Wisconsin judicial oversight panel dismissed a complaint against Supreme Court Justice
Continue Reading Courts (and the legal field in its entirety) should choose civility

Shakespeare may query “What’s in a name?” but for Wisconsin parents, the question requires a little more consideration. Wisconsin’s name change procedures, housed in Wis. Stat. chapter 786.36, make certain provisions when the petition to change a name is for a child under the age of 14.1

Amanda R.R. Mayer
, Marquette 2012, is the legal projects director at
Wisconsin Judicare in Wausau, where she works with victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault and supervises the Family Law Unit,
Continue Reading Big Revision for Child Name Changes

Please check out our most recent job posting for two new attorneys. If you think you don’t meet every requirement, we encourage you to apply anyway. Studies have shown that women, people of color, and other historically marginalized groups are less likely to apply for jobs unless they meet every qualification in a job description. At The Law Center, we are committed to building a diverse, inclusive, and healthy workplace. So, if you are excited about our job posting,
Continue Reading We hire people, not positions.


Family Law Videos
WI Court Opinions
Legal Publications

By Attorney Gregg HermanFebruary 21, 2023

For a number of years, I’ve put together a family law cases update program for the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the State Bar Family Law Section and the state family court judges.
For the last several years, I have noted the dwindling number of family law cases decided by the appellate courts. Last year set a new record low – there were
Continue Reading The age of settlement: Peace rather than war

Inheritance Disputes are Common Even Among the Wealthy

An inheritance dispute appears to be brewing following the recent death of Elvis Presley’s only child, Lisa Marie. According to various news outlets, Lisa Marie appointed her mother, Priscilla Presley, and her then manager, Barry Siegel, as co-trustees of her trust in 1993. Following Lisa Marie’s death on January 12, 2023, Priscilla discovered an amendment to the trust purportedly signed in 2016 that replaced both Priscilla and Barry Siegel as co-trustees.
Continue Reading The Recent Death of Lisa Marie Presley Leads to Brewing Trust Dispute

On Jan. 19, the Wisconsin Assembly gave a final approval to a proposed constitutional amendment that would, they claim, make it more difficult for violent criminals to get out of jail on bail. The proposal will go before voters where it will undoubtedly be ratified in the April 4 election.

The amendment would require a judge to consider a defendant’s potential risk to public safety, including his or her criminal history, when setting bail.  According to its proponents,
Continue Reading Politics vs. Real Life. A Living Wage is a Start

One of my favorite columns is to review family law cases and legislation from the prior year. It gives me yet another opportunity to express my thoughts on the good and the bad that occurred. Fortunately for me as a columnist, there was enough bad to make this column (hopefully) somewhat entertaining as “good” tends to be boring. So here goes:

My first column of 2022 was on Valadez v. Valadez, 2022 WI App 2, which reversed an
Continue Reading Looking back: The best and worst of 2022

Across the U.S., 2,529,000 children were raised in kinship care from 2020 through September 2022, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation. In Wisconsin, there were approximately 32,000 children in kinship care during this time frame. This data includes in its definition of kinship care children who are cared for full time by blood relatives or other adults with whom they have a family-like relationship, such as godparents or close family friends. Most children are raised by kin
Continue Reading Fictive Kin and Guardianship: Acknowledging Emotionally Significant Relationships with Children

Have you ever thought of creating a New Year’s resolution for co-parenting? If you feel your co-parenting could use some polishing, click here for a dozen ways to step up your game in 2023.
The post New Year’s Resolutions Do Not Have to Involve Getting to the Gym appeared first on Kowalski Wilson & Vang, LLC.
Continue Reading New Year’s Resolutions Do Not Have to Involve Getting to the Gym

Known generally as “Motions to Enforce,” Wis. Stat. section 767.471 provides a fast track to a hearing to enforce the physical placement order in effect in a family law action. Section 767.471 – formerly Wis. Stat. section 767.242 – was enacted as part of the Appropriations and Executive Budget Bill of 1999.

It is helpful to understand that motions to enforce are extraordinary motions. They carry with them specific procedural rules that are unique in family law, and, when
Continue Reading Are Motions to Enforce Physical Placement the Best Remedy For Your Client?

By: Attorney Megan Drury

If you are getting a divorce in Wisconsin, it is essential to understand the procedures that will be followed during your case. One issue that you may need to address during the divorce process involves stipulations, which may put temporary orders in place that will determine how certain issues will be handled as you work to dissolve your marriage. By understanding the role that stipulations can play in your divorce and working with an experienced
Continue Reading How Can Stipulations Affect a Wisconsin Divorce?


Family Law Videos
WI Court Opinions
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By Attorney Gregg HermanDecember 21, 2022

Well, that sure didn’t take long.
One of the ugly parts of our legal system is the politics of electing judges. With an election for a Supreme Court justice in 2023, the ugliness has gotten an early start.
Current Justice Pat Roggensack is retiring rather than seek a third 10-year term. There are four announced candidates: Judges Janet Protasiewicz, Everett Mitchell and Jennifer
Continue Reading Wisconsin Supreme Court election gets off to ugly start

Many of the divorce and paternity cases I handle involve a pro-se adverse party who frequently has plenty of experience with the criminal court system.

After those experiences, the adverse party often requests that the court appoint them a lawyer – after all, they’ve had one appointed before in the same courts. After such a request comes a difficult explanation that Wisconsin does not appoint an attorney for civil cases,1 and then the dawning realization at some point
Continue Reading Right to Counsel in Wisconsin Civil Suits – and a Call to Action

On Nov. 6, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Brackeen v. Haaland, a case which presented numerous constitutional and legislative issues regarding the Indian Child Welfare Act or ICWA.

The case presents some incredibly difficult legal and public policy issues. How difficult? In 2012, the late Justice Antonin Scalia called a dispute arising from the adoption of Native American twins the most difficult case he ever had during his time on the Supreme Court.

Continue Reading Competing rights and interests

​In the past few years, there has been a reckoning nationwide as to the history of racial injustice and its continued effects on people of color. The murder of George Floyd and countless other Black people by police has reinvigorated a national discussion of racial injustice in the U.S.

One only needs to observe one day in a Wisconsin courtroom to see racial disparity in stark reality. As a youth defense attorney in northeast Wisconsin for the past nine
Continue Reading We Need to Recognize the Implicit Bias in Wisconsin’s Youth Justice System