Family & Divorce

Under Wis. Stat. section 767.59 (1m), the court has limited authority to give credit due to past support arrears prior to the time a motion is filed, and has no authority under the existing statute to clear maintenance arrears prior to the date that notice of the action is given to the opposing side, except to correct previous errors in calculations. What other remedies may be available? At Issue: Section 767.59 Section 767.59(1m) – Payment Revision Prospective – reads as follows: In an action under sub. (1c) to revise a judgment or order with respect to child support, maintenance payments,…
One of the most common questions clients ask me is: “When do the children get to make the decision as to placement?” Unlike some states which provide specific ages, Wisconsin has some statutes that merely make the wishes of the child one of a large number of factors which courts are to take into account. Wis. Stats. §767.41(5)(2). A recent unpublished, but citeable, Court of Appeals decision makes an interesting (in want of a better word) comment regarding this issue. In many cases, when a child’s age is at one end of the spectrum, the answer is obvious. Children who…
This is the last installment of our blog specifically focusing on the SCRA and its effect on Wisconsin military divorces. Previous blogs in this series addressed the relief available for servicemembers and their spouses when a divorce or child custody act is pending. Following are miscellaneous sections of the Act that be relevant in a family matter, with short explanations: The servicemember can request an interest rate reduction to 6% on loans incurred prior to military service by writing to the creditor. This can be a valuable tool in cases where the parties are struggling to make ends meet during…
Families come in many different forms. In particular, advances in medical technology are expanding the concept of the family now more than ever. Unfortunately, the social acceptance of some families has lagged behind the technology. But what is the impact, if any, on children born via assisted reproductive technology (ART)? A recent article in Reproductive Biomedicine Online by Susan Golombok of the University of Cambridge in England looks at 40 years of research, including her own longitudinal studies, and answers that question. The article breaks down its findings into the following categories of family. Here are the highlights: 1) Lesbian…
Emily Dudak Leiter of The Law Center, S.C., attorney and yoga teacher, spoke today about “Wellness for Attorneys” at the State Bar of Wisconsin’s virtual conference, “Trending Topics in Juvenile Justice Reform 2020.” Emily shared her techniques for staying happy and healthy while practicing children’s law. The techniques she discussed included mindfulness, meditation, Yoga, breathwork, sleep, living with gratitude and compassion, guarding your energy and time, exercise, not multi-tasking, alignment and stretching while at the computer, music and essential oils in the office, minimalism, and cleanliness, boundaries, living beneath your means, and getting out in Nature. Emily hopes to continue…
Technology benefits the world in thousands of ways. It provides a means of connection and communication, allows us to find answers to nearly any question, gives us the ability to work remotely and stay up-to-date with every current event in the news and with our friends and family. Social media offers different platforms that children of all ages can use and even earn money from. One 7 year old made over $22 million in 2018 by reviewing toys on YouTube. Numerous other children have ‘gone viral’ for creating dances, reviewing food and beverages, and just being really, really adorable. However,…
Categories Categories Archives Family Law Videos WI Court Opinions Legal Publications By Attorney Gregg HermanAugust 28, 2020 On June 16, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin issued its opinion in Miller v. Carroll, 2020 WI 56, a case involving a judge’s decision to accept a Facebook friend request from a mother in a custody and placement dispute. Four justices joined the majority opinion, from Justice Rebecca Dallett, excluding one footnote. Three of the justices in the majority filed concurring decisions, including Dallett who concurred with her own opinion (huh?). Justice Brian Hagedorn filed a dissenting opinion, most of which was…
Last Sunday evening, August 9, 2020, our school law attorneys held a free, back-to-school Zoom webinar.  Attorneys Kristi Baker and Anne Daugherty-Leiter sought to empower parents and talked about how to help your child receive a free, appropriate public education during these challenging times, with a focus on special education needs. No student can afford a wasted semester, least of all a student with an IEP.  Anne and Kristi emphasized how parental advocacy is key to making sure that a child’s IEP is both drafted and implemented, in a way that meets the child’s needs during this challenging time.  Our…
I have often spoken and written about the vital importance of military spouses and their divorce lawyers ensuring that divorce judgments dividing military retired pay are properly and completely executed. The recent Wisconsin Court of Appeals case of Schwab v. Schwab 20 Ct App 40 is yet another example of the serious consequences when this is not done. A couple divorced in 1992, and the non-military wife was awarded a portion of the servicemember husband’s military retired pay. Unfortunately, the wife’s lawyer never completed the qualified domestic relations order to actually divide the account. The husband did not retire until…
By Attorney Max Stephenson Although studies show that approximately 40 to 50 percent of all U.S. marriages end in divorce, 70 percent of those spouses who get a divorce end up remarrying later in life. A second marriage can bring much happiness and a new lease on life for those people whose first unions did not work out. However, to avoid rushing into a second marriage shortly after a divorce, some states have a mandatory waiting period. Be sure to brush up on your state’s guidelines and contact an experienced divorce attorney before considering remarriage. Mandatory Waiting Period Wisconsin,…
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events that occur in a person’s childhood. These events include: experiencing violence, abuse, or neglect; witnessing violence in their home or community; or having a family member attempt or die by suicide.1 Also included are aspects of a child’s environment that may undermine their sense of safety and stability, such as growing up in household with substance abuse, with a family member who has mental health issues, or experiencing home instability due to parental separation. A person’s ACEs score is determined by how…
On Feb. 5, 2020, Gov. Tony Evers signed SB-158 into law as 2019 Wisconsin Act 95. While Act 95 makes various changes to Wis. Stat. chapter 767, it most notably creates another avenue for establishing paternity in Wisconsin, known as administrative paternity. Supporters of administrative paternity advocated for this law for nearly 10 years, as this alternative process may be less disruptive to mothers and fathers, save the court time, and in many instances, establish paternity faster. Prior to this change, Wisconsin law provided three methods to establish paternity: marital presumption, acknowledgment, and paternity court action. Administrative Paternity: Process…
Relocation is a common issue when dealing with divorce and paternity cases – especially with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In the past few months, unemployment has increased and the need for continued support has not changed. A parent may need to relocate for a new job or to move in with other family members. There are many factors in relocation that could impact child placement. Who? (Considering a Relocation) When considering a relocation, it is important to focus on who is moving. If placement will substantially change, it is important to determine whether the moving party is seeking primary placement…
By Attorney Anne Daugherty-Leiter “The answer is clear,” said the U.S. Supreme Court in Bostock v Clayton County, Georgia: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating against LGBTQ employees and applicants. Now, LGBTQ people working for employers with at least 15 employees may bring sex discrimination employment claims under federal law in every state.  This is because the Supreme Court has finally recognized that firing someone for being LGBTQ is firing that person for an identity or action that the employer would have accepted in a member of a different sex, meaning it is based on…
The first two blogs in this series addressed a request for a stay in a divorce, and a potential default judgment. This blog #3 will discuss how the civilian spouse can oppose a request for stay. A stay (or pause) in the case may cause serious problems for the spouse. Lack of child or spousal support, failure to pay debts, and disputes over child-related decisions could be unresolved for quite some time. Therefore, the spouse should not simply accept a request for stay. The SCRA allows a spouse to challenge that request. Recall that the servicemember must allege that necessary…
The year 2020 has been nothing short of chaotic. Due to the upheaval caused by the coronavirus, the IRS has postponed the traditional April 15 tax filing deadline to July 15. As you put the finishing touches on your tax documents, it is important to remember the adoption tax credit. Adoption is costly and every cent counts as you bear the financial costs of the adoption process. How Much Is The Credit Worth? The adoption tax credit can provide up to $14,300 for qualified adoption expenses. That amount is per each adopted child and applies to domestic and…