Hawley, Kaufman & Kautzer, S.C

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After a plea is entered the District Attorney provides discovery, which includes police reports, witness statements, photographs and any audio or video recordings taken during the course of the criminal investigation. It is not uncommon for supplemental reports to be exchanged during the course of the case. When reviewing the police reports, it is important keep in mind the perspective of the author and the information known at the time of the investigation. Often times the reports are one-sided, which requires taking time to speak with clients and get their side of the story. During investigations important pieces of information…
This is the third part of my series – When Should I Hire a Divorce Attorney. This post is about problems with money. Money problems arise in many marriages and that alone is not a reason to get a divorce. However, if the issues with money persist and lead to a breakdown of the marriage such that you have considered filing for a divorce, then it is a really good idea to hire a divorce attorney to help you. First, money problems can come in many forms. It may be that your spouse is spending too much money. It could…
Steps in Criminal Cases: Preliminary Hearing If you have been charged with a felony, you have a right to a preliminary examination hearing. At that hearing, the State, through the district attorney, has the burden of proof and must produce a witness to provide testimony that establishes probable cause that: a felony was probably committed and that you probably committed it. At this type of hearing, hearsay is permissible. This means that the witness, often times a law enforcement officer, may testify to what he or she was told by another witness or alleged victim. At a preliminary hearing you…
This is the second part of my series – When Should I Hire a Divorce Attorney. Infidelity is absolutely a time when you want to hire a divorce attorney. A divorce attorney will remain detached from emotions and will help you with your children and finances. There is something seriously wrong in your marriage, if one or both spouses are cheating. Infidelity, cheating, whatever you want to call it, is a violation of trust. When you violate trust, you lose credibility.  That has a great impact on the marriage and a spouse’s ability to think clearly. The breakdown of trust…
As a divorce attorney in Sheboygan County I get asked all the time, “when should I hire a divorce attorney”. I have thought about that question and I have come up with 7 times when you should hire a divorce attorney. This post talks about one instance when you should hire a divorce attorney. I will make another post with additional instances. I cannot emphasize how difficult the divorce process can be, emotionally and physically. It takes a lot of energy and there is an emotional toll and a time commitment. Many people try to work it out with their…
YOUR TESTIMONY CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE AT A HEARING One of the things that I discuss with my clients is that they are “fact witnesses” and nothing more. In family law matters, clients are concerned and distracted by emotion. The emotion of the moment can take over and cause a client to provide testimony that is not clear or factual. As you can imagine, any court official in having to make a decision benefits from factual information. A court’s decision is only as good as the information it relies on. Therefore, as a witness you must provide facts. Take the…
THE CDC AND HHS HAS ISSUED AN ORDER PREVENTING YOU FROM PURSUING RESIDENTIAL EVICTIONS AGAINST ANY “COVERED PERSON” Landlords beware. Understand what you may do and what you cannot do under the new Order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Order Effective September 4, 2020 and through December 31, 2020 a landlord cannot pursue a residential eviction if the tenant is a “covered person”. This Order was made to prevent the spread of COVID-19.   Meaning of Covered Person A tenant is a covered person, if under the penalty…
While the divorce is pending, who gets use of the house, when can I see the kids, do I have use of our money? Get a Temporary Order! A concern among any person splitting from a spouse, is how do I know that I will be protected during the divorce proceedings? For starters, work with your spouse to come up with a plan. Ideally, the two spouses will come up with fair and reasonable resolutions that encompass placement of minor children, use of the marital home, use of marital assets and funds, and payment on any marital debts. If you…
DIVORCE: SUMMONS AND PETITION – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW A divorce or legal separation proceeding is really a lawsuit between two people. You are petitioning for orders related to your right to see your children and to protect your assets and income. Because the stakes are so high, the two parties to the proceedings must be aware that there is a pending divorce or legal separation action. In addition, each party must have knowledge of what the other party is requesting. For these very important reasons, any divorce or legal separation must include a Summons and Petition. If you…
Criminal Procedure – Initial Appearance You received a misdemeanor citation summoning you to attend an initial appearance or have been charged with a felony and are in custody awaiting your initial appearance. Now what?   The initial appearance is the first hearing in a criminal proceeding regardless if you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony. Prior to or at the initial appearance you are provided with the criminal complaint, which is a charging document that lists the offenses for which you are charged and provides a narrative of the events that are alleged to have occurred. The judge or…
WHAT IS A JOINT PETITION FOR DIVORCE OR LEGAL SEPARATION And WHY you may want to consider it It may not apply to every situation, but a joint petition for divorce or legal separation is a good way to file if you and your spouse agree that the marriage is broken. In filing a joint petition it puts both spouses on an equal playing field. Each of you will know what the petition says and you will each have a hand in completing it and filing it. The process of divorce and legal separation is often met with suspicion and…
Estate Planning and Powers of Attorney The only guarantee in life is that nothing is guaranteed. That is why it is never too early to plan for your future and to account for any potential incapacity that may befall you. It may seem morbid to plan for your death or incapacity, but it is vital to have a plan in place for when it happens. Whether you are 18 years old or 80 years old, executing a simple will and powers of attorney can protect you and your assets in the event you become incapacitated or suddenly pass away.   By…
10 STEPS FOR GETTING A DIVORCE OR LEGAL SEPARATION 1. Decide on a joint petition or not. A joint petition for divorce means that you and your spouse will complete the Petition together. If you do not file the Petition jointly, then only one spouse completes the petition and files it. The advantage of a joint petition is that the filing fee is shared and each spouse knows what is happening. The disadvantage of one spouse filing the Petition is that the filing spouse pays the filing fee and the respondent (the spouse who is not filing the Petition) is…
Here are 5 great reasons to hire a family law attorney to help you. Reason #1 – Divorce is serious business A divorce is effectively a lawsuit between you and your spouse for the right to see your children and the right to divide everything that you own. For most people, that is life. What else is more important than your children, and the right to possess your property and handle your finances? All too often people take the divorce process lightly. They discover, after judgment, that the settlement did not turn out fairly. It is very difficult to get…
In family law actions involving children you will probably be required to complete and file a Financial Disclosure Statement. Very basically, a Financial Disclosure Statement is an accounting of all your income, assets, debts and expenses. It is designed to put the other party to the action and the Court on notice of your current financial status. Here is a link to the form so you can see what it looks like. https://www.wicourts.gov/forms1/circuit/ccform.jsp?FormName=&FormNumber=FA-4139V&beg_date=&end_date=&StatuteCite=&Category=&Language=&Format= I am surprised at how careless people are about their finances. One of our goals at our law firm is to help you become interested in your…