Kowalski Family Law Blog

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As discussed in an earlier blog, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) grants servicemembers a “stay” or freeze of a divorce or child custody case until s/he can legitimately participate. Upon the servicemember’s request, the case must be suspended for 90 days. However, what happens if a real emergency makes a suspension unrealistic? Earlier blogs discussed various ways for the civilian spouse’s to dispute the request for stay and have the case heard earlier. See https://kowalskifamilylaw.com/servicemembers-civil-relief-act-in-wisconsin-blog-series-2/ and https://kowalskifamilylaw.com/servicemembers-civil-relief-act-blog-series-3/ But are there any options in the servicemember legitimately meets all the requirements for a stay, and truly cannot participate? Consider this…
If your spouse hides assets during the divorce process, it is illegal. When a financial disclosure statement is filled out, one must sign it under oath. Therefore, lying on the financial disclosure statement is considered perjury under Wisconsin law. The Wisconsin Statutes specifically state, “complete disclosure of assets and debts is required by law and deliberate failure to provide complete disclosure constitutes perjury.” Failure to identify or properly value one asset could result in a substantial financial loss as you emerge from your divorce. For guidance throughout the divorce process and aid in uncovering assets, contact Kowalski Family Law. Link
If you are getting married, you will benefit from a prenuptial agreement. There are numerous reasons why this is the case.  Getting married involves a contract. However, that specific contract does not aid in planning for what will happen if your partnership is dissolved. Here are three basic reasons why everyone needs a prenuptial agreement. For experienced representation that will ensure your assets are preserved, contact Kowalski Family Law. We will help you craft a resolution tailored to your unique circumstances.  The post Why Is a Prenuptial Agreement Necessary? appeared first on Kowalski Family Law.…
Military members and their spouses should be aware of the following Wisconsin statutes and cases that could have an affect on child custody and placement disputes: Wisconsin Statutes 767.41(2)(e) and (5)(c): ” If a party is a service member, the court may not consider as a factor in determining the legal custody of a child whether the service member has been or may be called to active duty in the U.S. armed forces and consequently is, or in the future will be or may be, absent from the service member’s home.” A “service member” in this statute is defined only…
When dividing federal benefits in divorce, there are two retirement accounts federal employees are eligible for. The first account is the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS). Under FERS, employees are eligible for benefits from the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Read more about the Federal Employees Retirement System and how it functions here. If you are a federal employee or a spouse of a federal employee who needs help navigating the divorce process, contact Kowalski Family Law. We have represented many federal employees and their spouses. Our experience and knowledge of the various options and limits will ensure that you receive…
All divorce cases require an analysis of each spouse’s assets, debts, and income. Divorce involving a military servicemember is no different. Basic documents such as the leave and earnings statement (LES), disability determination, points statement, etc. should be obtained in every case. There are several ways to obtain this information, with the last resort being a direct request to the government. The documents may be kept in the marital residence, and therefore the civilian spouse can simply copy them and provide them to his/her lawyer. The military spouse can provide them to counsel voluntarily upon receipt of an informal phone…
In a Wisconsin divorce, each spouse is required to issue a financial disclosure statement, which identifies all assets at hand. The list of assets Wisconsin couples are required to disclose include, but are not limited to, “real estate savings accounts, stocks and bonds, mortgages and notes, life insurance” and “retirement interests”. You can view more details about financial disclosure by examining the Wisconsin Statutes. In a high asset divorce in particular, the stakes are high when dividing property. Many valuable assets are present. At Kowalski Family Law, we are able to provide an in-depth accounting of such assets. We work…
How is child support calculated in Wisconsin? When it comes to the percentage of a parent’s gross income that will contribute to child support payments, the state’s standard formula is as follows: 1 child 17% 2 children 25%  3 children 29% 4 children 31%  5 or more 34% There are several guidelines that may be utilized when determining child support in Wisconsin. The guideline used is dependent on the amount of time spent with the child, as well as each parent’s income. These matters can become complicated. For guidance through establishing, reviewing and modifying support when appropriate, contact Kowalski Family Law. …
Serving a military member stationed overseas with Wisconsin divorce or other family court papers must be handled carefully. Service must comply with United States federal and state court procedures. It is also wise to review service requirements or restrictions of the foreign country. For example, unlike the United States, some countries may restrict who can actually serve legal papers. Violation of such rules could even result in criminal charges in the host country. If the host country is a signatory to the Hague Convention of the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, the rules…
What is the difference between a prenuptial agreement and postnuptial agreement? The two are almost identical. A prenuptial agreement is made before you get married, while a postnuptial agreement is made after you get married. Both are agreements that determine how financial assets would be divided in the event of a divorce. There is no point in signing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that is not carefully drafted to comply with requirements for enforcement. For assistance in drafting a comprehensive, enforceable marital property agreement, contact Kowalski Family Law LLC. Link to More Information The post Prenuptial Agreement vs. Postnuptial Agreement
The last blog discussed general concepts to serve divorce or paternity documents on Wisconsin servicemembers. This blog will address specifics for each branch of the military. ARMY The Army will assist county sheriffs to serve members with legal papers, as long as the member is stationed, resides, or employed at the base. The first point of contact for assistance should be the military police office on base. AIR FORCE The Air Force will assist the sheriff with service. The first contact should be the base Staff Judge Advocate or Security Forces office. The relevant official will either escort the process…
If you are seeking divorce from an abusive spouse, it is crucial to be aware of steps you can take in order to protect yourself. Sometimes, even if your spouse has never exhibited aggressive behavior, a divorce could cause them to snap. From guarding important documents to obtaining the guidance of a family law attorney, here are some tips on how to protect yourself during or after the divorce process.   Link to Article The post How To Protect Yourself From an Abusive Spouse Amid Divorce appeared first on Kowalski Family Law.…
No legal case can validly proceed unless the responding party has been properly served with the relevant documents. In a paternity case, this would be the petition for paternity. In divorce, the petition for divorce. A previously blog provided some advice on locating servicemembers to serve papers. Once the member’s location is known, however, s/he must be formally served with the petition. Certain military rules may make this process difficult. The simplest means of service is to send the documents to the servicemember via mail with an acceptance of service. If the member voluntarily signs and returns the acceptance, service…
What are your visitation rights as a grandparent in Wisconsin? Certain criteria must be present in order for visitation rights to be granted. Such criteria includes the determination that the grandparent would not interfere with decisions pertaining to the child’s physical, emotional, educational or spiritual wellbeing. Another factor that must be present is proof that the grandparent has aimed to maintain a relationship with the child, but the parent has prevented the grandparent from doing so. Take a more in-depth look at laws pertinent to grandparent visitation, and provisions you must follow in order for a court to grant visitation…
January is often labeled “Divorce Month.” After spouses spend an extended amount of time in close quarters during the holiday season, clashing often occurs. Another reason why January often sees an uptick in initiations of the divorce process is the fact that many aim to start fresh during the new year. Due to a combination of both of these factors, family lawyers experience an uptick in divorce related inquiries during the month of January, with this uptick being especially present on the first working Monday of the New Year.  Link to Article The post Reason for Uptick in Divorce Rates
The National Domestic Violence Hotline presents startling statistics about the existence and reality of domestic violence in the United States. One such statistic is that “On average, more than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the United States will experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner.” The prevalence of domestic violence in the United States has only been exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic. The United Nations has labeled the rise in violence during COVID-19 a “shadow pandemic”. If you need guidance in filing an order of protection, contact Kowalski Family Law LLC. Our…