One advantage of the collaborative divorce process is it affords clients the opportunity to “expand the pie” rather than just divide it. That is, it gives clients a broader range of possible solutions that increase the value of complicated assets, such as pensions. The help of a neutral financial professional can be a key to more “pie.”
Many legal issues in family law can be resolved by applying a mathematical formula, such as for setting child support or spousal maintenance. When determining marital property for purposes of division, gifted or inherited property is excluded, unless excluding it creates a hardship for the noninheriting spouse. Determining “hardship” is an issue that requires a lawyer’s advocacy skills rather than a math equation.
Advances in assistive reproductive technology are giving new options for parentage to individuals who are in same-sex marriages, are dealing with infertility, or both. But Wisconsin law is not keeping pace. To resolve disputes when a surrogacy agreement falls apart and grant parent status, the author proposes that Wisconsin courts use an “intended-parent” test.
On the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in In re Gault, which granted certain rights to juveniles accused of committing crimes, the author reviews today’s juvenile courts, considers how juvenile courts protect minors’ due process rights, and outlines defense lawyers’ obligations to juvenile clients.
The holidays can be a tough time for non-placement parents who don’t live close to minor children, not to mention the children. In this article, Brandon Carlin explains the benefits and pitfalls of “virtual visitation,” also known as “virtual parent-time.”
Often, old age is accompanied by declines in cognition that can negatively affect an older person’s ability to engage in estate planning. But even when they don’t, beneficiaries might use a testator’s age and normal age-related behavior as reasons to challenge a will or other testamentary document. The growing number of older people with cognitive challenges will bring with it an increase in estate litigation.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court concluded in In re Meister that a grandparent, great-grandparent, or stepparent need not prove a parent-child relationship in order to secure visitation rights under Wis. Stat. section 767.43(1). Will this decision expand grandparent visitation litigation in Wisconsin?
Intellectual property can be a significant element of a person’s estate, and for artists, that intellectual property likely will be copyright. For lawyers advising clients, identifying, and cataloging property consisting of copyright is particularly important – and challenging.
Wis. Stat. section 767.75 now provides that all income assignments must be for a fixed sum regardless of whether the court-ordered obligation on which the assignment is based is expressed in the court order as a percentage of the payer's income. This means that if a stipulation is approved for a percentage expressed support amount, the order must be converted to a flat dollar amount for purposes of withholding.
Every divorce lawyer has seen it – a domestic violence perpetrator who abuses the family pet as a way to inflict pain on a spouse or other family member. Act 253, while not a cure-all, offers protections for victims’ pets through DM orders.
Jan. 20, 2016 – Unlike other areas of law, there is no “magic age” for when children have a right to be heard. For numerous reasons, we need train GALs not only on the substantive law, but on how to talk to children who are caught in the middle of family battles.
Jan. 6, 2016 – Is there a good alternative to hourly billing divorce clients? This author believes hourly billing remains the best option, but integrity in billing practices and attention to early settlement options just might save divorce lawyers from obsolescence.
Rene Von Schleinitz died in 1972. His will provided for a trust to hold land with “improvements,” including cottages on Cedar Lake in West Bend. Recently, a state appeals court ruled that “improvements” did not include septic and well systems serving a cocottage built and owned by Von Schleinitz’s daughter and her husband.
Sept. 16, 2015 – The number of Americans choosing to cohabitate instead of marry is at an all-time high for every age group. While Wisconsin does not recognize common law marriage, these “de facto marriages” often mimic traditional divorce cases when cohabitation relationships end.