Kowalski Family Law

At Kowalski Family Law, we specialize in family matters. Our attorneys have the experience, judgment, and knowledge to guide you through difficult times. The legal system can be confusing and uncertain, so we take pride in our communication. We will:

  • Respond promptly to your questions and concerns.
  • Listen to understand your goals.
  • Clearly explain your options.
  • Develop a plan for your case.
  • Work hard to give you the best outcome.

We truly believe that you will not find better representation for your family.

Kowalski Family Law Blogs

Latest from Kowalski Family Law

In addition to satisfying residency requirements for the spouses in a military divorce, the Wisconsin divorce court must also have jurisdiction over the children. Wisconsin is one of 49 states that adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). This law establishes the proper state to handle issues of child custody and placement. The UCCJEA requires that the “child custody determination” (including divorce and paternity cases) occurs in the child’s “home state.” The home state is where the child has lived during the six months before the case was filed. There are some exceptions for cases involving domestic…
Wisconsin, as most states, recognizes a distinction between “residence” and “domicile.” It is important to know this distinction to ensure that Wisconsin is the correct jurisdiction to file a military divorce. “Residence” and “domicile” may be the same place, but not always. “Residence” usually means the place where a party lives at a specific time. Thus, to file a divorce in Wisconsin, a party must be a resident of Wisconsin for 6 months prior to filing. Wisconsin does not require that the party intend to live in the state forever, just demonstrate the required 6 months of current residence. “Domicile”…
Given the nomadic existence of some military families, it is not always easy to choose the right state to file for divorce. If the husband entered the military in Wisconsin, the marriage occurred in Texas, the children were born in California, the husband deployed to Iraq, and the mother and children moved back to Wisconsin, where is the proper jurisdiction for divorce? Such a scenario is common due to servicemembers’ orders. I will devote several upcoming blogs to this difficult issue. A party can only file divorce in Wisconsin if he/she has been a “resident” of the state for six…
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…
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…
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…
Previous blogs addressed the SCRA’s protections for the servicemember in a Wisconsin divorce or family court case. This blog will discuss ways for the non-military spouse to oppose a request to delay the case. Although the SCRA is designed to protect the member, it cannot be a license to delay a case indefinitely. The spouse also has a right to at least a reasonably timely resolution. Recall that in order to receive the stay, the servicemember must demonstrate that his/her duties prevent “meaningful participation.” The spouse need not simply accept a blanket statement, but ensure that the member met the…
Blog #1 in this serious addressed the background of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)  and the servicemember’s ability to request a stay, or pause, in a divorce or family law case. Blog #2 will discuss the possibility of a default judgment against the servicemember if he/she does not participate in the case at all. The available stay under the SCRA does not last forever. If the member does not participate, the spouse can obtain a default judgment. The spouse must file a request for judgment, along with an affidavit indicating whether the other spouse is in the service. If…
Blog #1 in this serious addressed the background of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)  and the servicemember’s ability to request a stay, or pause, in a divorce or family law case. Blog #2 will discuss the possibility of a default judgment against the servicemember if he/she does not participate in the case at all. The available stay under the SCRA does not last forever. If the member does not participate, the spouse can obtain a default judgment. The spouse must file a request for judgment, along with an affidavit indicating whether the other spouse is in the service. If…
Blog #1 in this serious addressed the background of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)  and the servicemember’s ability to request a stay, or pause, in a divorce or family law case. Blog #2 will discuss the possibility of a default judgment against the servicemember if he/she does not participate in the case at all. The available stay under the SCRA does not last forever. If the member does not participate, the spouse can obtain a default judgment. The spouse must file a request for judgment, along with an affidavit indicating whether the other spouse is in the service. If…
Blog #1 in this serious addressed the background of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)  and the servicemember’s ability to request a stay, or pause, in a divorce or family law case. Blog #2 will discuss the possibility of a default judgment against the servicemember if he/she does not participate in the case at all. The available stay under the SCRA does not last forever. If the member does not participate, the spouse can obtain a default judgment. The spouse must file a request for judgment, along with an affidavit indicating whether the other spouse is in the service. If…
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is a federal law that can have important consequences in a Wisconsin divorce case. All family lawyers handling divorce, paternity, or child-related matters should be aware of at least the Act’s basic rules. I will dedicate a series of blogs on this topic to clarify the Act. The first version of the Act was created during World War II, then updated in 1991 and 2003 The Act applies to active duty members, and mobilized Reservists and National Guard members. The SCRA’s purpose is to allow military members to devote themselves to service by limiting…
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is a federal law that can have important consequences in a Wisconsin divorce case. All family lawyers handling divorce, paternity, or child-related matters should be aware of at least the Act’s basic rules. I will dedicate a series of blogs on this topic to clarify the Act. The first version of the Act was created during World War II, then updated in 1991 and 2003 The Act applies to active duty members, and mobilized Reservists and National Guard members. The SCRA’s purpose is to allow military members to devote themselves to service by limiting…
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is a federal law that can have important consequences in a Wisconsin divorce case. All family lawyers handling divorce, paternity, or child-related matters should be aware of at least the Act’s basic rules. I will dedicate a series of blogs on this topic to clarify the Act. The first version of the Act was created during World War II, then updated in 1991 and 2003 The Act applies to active duty members, and mobilized Reservists and National Guard members. The SCRA’s purpose is to allow military members to devote themselves to service by limiting…
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is a federal law that can have important consequences in a Wisconsin divorce case. All family lawyers handling divorce, paternity, or child-related matters should be aware of at least the Act’s basic rules. I will dedicate a series of blogs on this topic to clarify the Act. The first version of the Act was created during World War II, then updated in 1991 and 2003 The Act applies to active duty members, and mobilized Reservists and National Guard members. The SCRA’s purpose is to allow military members to devote themselves to service by limiting…
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is a federal law that can have important consequences in a Wisconsin divorce case. All family lawyers handling divorce, paternity, or child-related matters should be aware of at least the Act’s basic rules. I will dedicate a series of blogs on this topic to clarify the Act. The first version of the Act was created during World War II, then updated in 1991 and 2003 The Act applies to active duty members, and mobilized Reservists and National Guard members. The SCRA’s purpose is to allow military members to devote themselves to service by limiting…