Latest from Family Law Update

Editor’s Note: The following column appeared in the November 2020 edition of Wisconsin Lawyer Magazine. To read the full article, please see link below. Divorce lawyers have a saying that a bad settlement beats a good trial. If true, a good settlement beats all. Settlements are golden, as they allow creativity in developing a case-specific settlement plan, often including provisions that would not be ordered by a court if the case went to litigation. This is particularly important in family law cases in which the parties will have a continuing relationship with one another, most commonly regarding children (minors and…
The Wisconsin Supreme Court now has an opportunity to clarify an area of family law which very much needs clarifying. Although I’ve recently criticized the court for accepting review in two cases in which the court of appeals had made perfectly fine decisions (Miller v. Carroll, 2020 WI 56 and Pulkkila v. Pulkkila, 2020 WI 34) – and issuing decisions of little help to practitioners in both cases – the court has now agreed to take another look a case that presents one particular issue that could actually use review. A “Little Married” In Kemper Independence Insurance
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 A recent unpublished, but citeable, Court of Appeals decision makes an interesting (in want of a better word) comment regarding this issue.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…
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…
Categories Categories Archives Family Law Videos WI Court Opinions Legal Publications In this Issue … A Word from Gregg HermanNew Cases Wisconsin Courts UpdatesJudge on Facebook case, prenup case, change in placement case AdoptionDelays Mediation News“5 Signs Mediation Won’t Work for Your Divorce”, Family Violence and Family Mediation – Can the Two Go Together?” and “Divorce During Coronavirus: Will Splits Soar After Pandemic Quarantines End?” • • • A Word from Gregg Herman … After complaining about no family law cases from either the Wisconsin Supreme Court or the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, when it rains…
On June 16, 2020, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin issued their opinion in Miller v. Carroll, 2020 WI 56, which affirmed the published decision of the Court of Appeals. Four justices joined the majority opinion, authored by Justice Dallett, except for one footnote. Three of the justices in majority filed concurring decisions, including Justice Dallett who concurred with her own opinion (huh?). Justice Hagedorn filed a dissenting opinion, most of which was joined by two other justices. Facebook Friend Request The facts involved a circuit court judge who accepted a Facebook friend request from the mother in a custody/placement…
In the movie “A Marriage Story,” a female lawyer (played by Laura Dern, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress) is incredibly compassionate toward her client, saying she will move forward with the divorce, “as gently as possible.” But when the husband goes to meet with his prospective male attorney, the attorney immediately starts laying out an aggressive plan that will let them “win” the case. When the attorneys meet, the male attorney, played by Ray Liotta, yells and tries to speak over the female attorney. However, the female attorney uses her social intuition to read her counterpart’s…
Categories Categories Archives Family Law Videos WI Court Opinions Legal Publications In this Issue … A Word from Gregg HermanSilver linings? Wisconsin Courts UpdatesEnforcement more than 20 years after the divorce, legal separation AdoptionCoronavirus impact on surrogacy arrangements • • • A Word from Gregg Herman … Until this crisis is over (not soon enough!), I’ll continue to publish FLU monthly with any new cases or other family law news. Thanks to Steve Hayes for continuing his contributions on adoption and the effects of the pandemic. Are there any silver linings in this very dark cloud?…
Categories Categories Archives Family Law Videos WI Court Opinions Legal Publications By Attorney Gregg HermanMay 29, 2020 Photo Credit: State Bar of Wisconsin It has been eight years since the Wisconsin Supreme Court accepted a review of a family-law case, other than regarding grandparent visitation. So, though it was surprising that they granted review of a case with a perfectly fine court of appeals decision, one at least hoped that they would find some way to use the occasion to make a decision which makes a difference in this area of law. Instead, their decision in Pulkkila v. Pulkkila,…
Categories Categories Archives Family Law Videos WI Court Opinions Legal Publications By Attorney Gregg HermanMay 4, 2020 The role of a family law attorney has changed greatly over the years. For example, I was hired by my present firm to be the litigator, as I had been a prosecutor for over seven years. While there was not nearly as much litigation as in my prior job, going to court was a routine occurrence. In addition to multiple trials, temporary hearings over custody and support were regular. The evidentiary skills that I had learned as a prosecutor came in very useful.…
Categories Categories Archives Family Law Videos WI Court Opinions Legal Publications To My Subscribers: For the first (and hopefully, last) time since I starting doing Family Law Update (c. 1998), we are going to skip this month’s issue and probably future issues until this miserable virus goes away. Please take care of yourself, and I hope Family Law Update (along with everything else in normal life) is back soon! Best, Gregg Herman Attorney Gregg Herman is a founding partner of Loeb & Herman S.C. in Milwaukee, WI. He practices family law exclusively, and can be reached via e-mail or by…
Categories Categories Archives Family Law Videos WI Court Opinions Legal Publications In this Issue … A Word from Gregg HermanUpcoming Seminars Wisconsin Courts UpdatesHague Convention Case Thoughts on Family Law VideoTop 5 Reasons Why Mediation is Better than Divorce Litigation Legislative UpdatePaternity via DNA testing Mediation and Settlement OnlinePodcast:The Divorce Mediation Movement, Getting Your Spouse to Agree to Mediation and 5 Mediation Strategies for a Succesful Divorce Agreement • • • A Word from Gregg Herman … Divorce Cooperation Institute Annual Seminar Reserve Friday, September 25, 2020 for the annual (or almost annual) Divorce Cooperation