Podcast: Bottom Up Podcast
If there is serious doubt about an opposing party’s competence, attorneys should protect their client by filing a motion and bringing the issue of incompetence before the circuit court, writes Comm. Barry Boline. Learn more about the procedure andand applicable statutes.
The recent 2021 WI Act 182 created new language for petitions to change the name of a minor under 14 years of age with two living parents who are not filing a joint petition in certain circumstances. Amanda R.R. Mayer outlines the new law and how to navigate it – and points out a glaring omission.
Motions to enforce are extraordinary motions that offer a speedy consequence where there are placement issues in a family law matter. However, they may not be the best solution for your client. Comm. Barry Boline discusses the details of motions toenforce and their impacts.
Pets are increasingly valued as more than property. But what does that mean for divorce in Wisconsin? Comm. Mark Fremgen explores the current status of pet custody and placement agreements in the state.
Legislation to exclude area variable housing costs from gross income in military cases became effective March 13, 2022. Jill Mueller discusses how 2021 WI Act 160 impacts child support calculations for members of the military.
The new Wis. Stat. chapter 324 specifically addresses custody and visitation issues for deployed parents. David Kowalski discusses the new chapter and its limitations.
As elsewhere, the COVID-19 pandemic will have a long-term effect on family law issues, including decisions involving child custody. Tiara Oates discusses creative alternative ways to resolve child custody disputes – and lessons learned from the pandemic.
When you pick up a case in a county that is new to you, it's a good idea to get acquainted with that court's rules, because they can differ widely from what you're used to. David Karp discusses local court rules and where to find them.
A recent Wisconsin court of appeals decision sends a message to child support payers. Jacob S. Wiese discusses why the decision makes it clear to parties paying child support that they must be proactive in revising child support orders when a child reaches the age of majority.
Four statutes authorize the recovery of attorney's fees for clients and lawyers in family law cases in Wisconsin. Karyn Gimbel Youso discusses the statutes, two of which apply generally to all civil cases and two that are specific to the family law statute.
Several proposed bills would significantly affect family law practice in Wisconsin. Emily Tercilla provides a brief overview of these legislative bills and their anticipated impact.
When one family unit becomes two, differing opinions on appropriate use of social media can arise. Ashleigh Hacker discusses the rise of “sharenting” and considerations for divorce attorneys in negotiating parental agreements.
While family law attorneys have access to discovery tools like basic interrogatories and requests for documents that are commonly used by civil litigators, there are other tools out there that can bolster a case. Jeff Raymond outlines the pros and cons ofthree tools typically underemployed in family law litigation.
When parties change their mind about going through with a pending divorce or legal separation, they must file a voluntary dismissal. David Karp talks about the two different ways that a family law action may be dismissed.
Legislation to reorganize Wis. Admin. Code ch. DCF 150 and eliminate new family support orders will become effective this year. Jill Mueller explains the changes to DCF 150 that make the shared placement calculation the primary method of calculating support.
In the Hmong community, clan leaders participate in the mediation of divorce cases. Chue Xiong discusses the importance of clan mediation, and why it is important that attorneys participate.
In determining whether to order third-party visitation, a court must analyze the visitation request based upon the child’s best interest, giving special deference to a fit parent’s determinations as to what visitation is appropriate.Wisconsin Legislative Council Information Memorandum.
Finding mentors is a critical part of starting a new attorney’s career. Tiara Oates offers tips on how to locate mentors and on nurturing the mentor/mentee relationship.
There is no right to equal periods of placement when considering child custody agreements, writes Mark Fremgen. Each situation is different, and placement agreements should involve all relevant facts when deciding the best interests of the child.
De novo hearings allow a brand-new hearing on issues decided by court commissioners, and are a useful tool in representing previously pro-se clients. Lauren Otte discusses de novo hearing procedure and how to use these hearings to benefit your clients.
In this era of doing more with less, triaging family cases could benefit Wisconsin family courts, parties, and lawyers by using scarce resources more efficiently. Paul Stenzel discusses how triage, or differentiated case management, could fit into family court systems.
Safe at Home, Wisconsin’s address confidentiality program, can be a necessary tool to protect the privacy of clients who are victims of domestic abuse. Jeff Raymond details properly serving pleadings to a party enrolled in the program – which is crucial to keeping practitioners out of hot water.
In Wisconsin, there is a 120-day waiting period before a Judgment of Divorce can be issued. Family Court Comm. Mark G. Schroeder discusses why it may be time for that waiting period to go.
Section 767.59 greatly limits the trial court's authority to modify maintenance payments or arrears accrued prior to the filing of a motion. David Karp explores other remedies that may be available to cure maintenance arrearages.
Administrative paternity, a fourth way to determine paternity in Wisconsin, begins Aug. 1, 2020. Jill Mueller discusses the logistics of administrative paternity and why this new option is important for parents and children.
What happens when the opposing party in a divorce action evades a Summons and Petition or simply cannot be located? Lauren Otte discusses the required steps to secure service and personal jurisdiction in these circumstances.
Among the new rules implemented by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) are Economic Impact Payments (EIP) and changes in retirement distributions and withdrawals. Tiffany Highstrom discusses what attorneys should know about the CARES Act and offers advice on guiding clients through this uncertain time.
The practice of family law in Wisconsin has changed drastically in the past month. Margaret Hickey gives a few tips on dealing with these changes, and where to find resources to help you manage your practice.
Marital settlement agreements requiring college expense coverage for children can prompt disputes years after the divorce. David Kowalski discusses basic law on parental obligations for adult children, and suggests language to clearly define all parties’ obligations for parents jointly assuming this obligation.
A newly passed Wisconsin bill creates a new presumption of paternity in Wisconsin through genetic testing. Donna Ginzl discusses the details of Senate Bill 158 and how it changes paternity determination in the state.
Family lawyers trained to identify the effects of childhood trauma and compassion fatigue can better serve their clients. Lauren Otte discusses identifying and addressing the trauma experience of children and parents to mitigate the potential damage during custody and placement disputes.
Exposure to domestic violence can have serious health effects for children, according to recent scientific studies. Tiffany Highstrom gives a broad overview of these studies on the link between early childhood exposure to intimate partner violence (IPV) and children’s physical and health risks. “While exposure to IPV leaves no actual bruises, it has real effects on the health of the child. Research suggests that intervention can be effective in mitigating those effects,” she writes.
Adversarial, collaborative, cooperative, or mediation? Choosing the method in family law matters depends on your client’s situation. Margaret Hickey discusses what to consider when selecting an approach to resolving family law cases.
When should post-filing debts be considered when establishing a balancing payment in divorce? David Kowalski discusses issues raised by a recent case.
When clients' names in a divorce are not on a real property deed, protect their marital interest with a lis pendens. Cassel McClure Villarreal discusses lis pendens, an effective tool in protecting your client’s real property interest in divorce.
What type of personal service is required in Wisconsin when proceeding with a contempt motion in family law cases? David A. Karp discusses the relevant statutory provisions and case law.
ERISA vs. FSPA – what’s the difference? It’s a vital consideration for divorce practitioners, says James C. W. Bock. Find out what they are, and why the FSPA and the Survivor Benefit Plan statutes matter in family law.
A Legislative Council Study Committee recently proposed changes to child placement and support laws in Wisconsin. Tiffany Highstrom reviews the committee’s proposals and their potential impact on family law.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently held that a circuit court judge who appointed a referee to resolve disputes delegated authority that he could not delegate. Margaret Hickey discusses the case and its implications when using third-party decision-makersin family law.
Advocates for Marsy’s Law – equal rights for crime victims as defendants – have introduced resolutions recently in the Wisconsin Legislature. Donna Ginzl talks about Marsy’s Law For All and what’s happening in Wisconsin.
Recent Wisconsin Supreme Court oral arguments in Michels v. Lyons dissected the constitutionality of a grandparent visitation statute. Tiffany Highstrom and Sara Vanden Brook discuss the court’s recent oral arguments regarding the statute and cases involved.
When you represent noncitizen clients, immigration issues may overlap with family law issues. Cassel Villarreal details one particular issue – the I-864 Affidavit for Support, where a citizen sponsor agrees to financially support their immigrating spouse – and how it comes to play in divorce.
As of Jan. 1, 2019, maintenance payments will no longer be tax deductible to the payer or taxable income to the payee under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. But is it a cause for panic? David Karp examines the differences between taxable maintenance andnon-taxable maintenance under the Act.
May parties stipulate to a lower standard for modification of custody and placement in the initial years following a judgment? James C.W. Bock explores case law and legislative intent involving the “best interest of the child” custodial standard.
The Wisconsin Legislature recently made significant changes to the law that governs when one divorced parent seeks to relocate far the child’s other parent. Tiffany Highstrom details the new procedures and standards applicable under the Act.
On Jan. 1, 2019, child support maintenance is no longer deductible in divorce. Gregg Herman discusses the issue, and what it means for families undergoing divorce – and who will be paying the price.
Dividing retirement accounts during a divorce is not a straight-forward process. To avoid post-divorce litigation, it is vital to do the proper work on the front end, says David Kowalski.
Recently published legislation requires attorneys to add their name and state bar number when drafting pleadings for otherwise self-represented litigants. Donna Ginzl discusses changes in Wisconsin Act 317.
There is validity in the moral principle that as a society we have a responsibility to ensure the protection of our most vulnerable members of the society, writes Mark Fremgen.
With many family law litigants going without counsel, we need to be relevant to assist clients and add value to the divorce process, writes Margaret Hickey. One way to do that: Knowledge of elder law.
The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act imposes sweeping changes in the tax code. Some of the most dramatic changes will affect taxpayers going through a divorce. David Karp discusses the changes that family law attorneys should be aware of.
The Family Law Section proposed two pieces of legislation to address practice issues in family law. Cassel Villarreal discusses the two bills, detailing the proposed changes in existing law.
The number of self-represented parties in family courts continues to rise. Susan Hansen discusses the issue and what family lawyers can do in response.
Wisconsin Department of Children and Families recently proposed to Chapter 150 Child Support Percentage of Income Standard. Tiffany Highstrom discusses the proposed changes which, if implemented, will impact how child support functions in Wisconsin.
The legal framework in determining third-party visitation is different from the legal framework for awarding physical placement in a divorce or paternity action. Cassel Villarreal outlines an analysis for determining third-party visitation.
For solo and small firms, limited scope representation is a milestone for efficient, cost-effective representation, and is exceptionally practical in family law settings. James Bock discusses this recently enacted rule and its potential application in family law matters.
As of July 1, 2017, lawyers serving as mediators can draft, amend, and file legal documents for litigants going through a family law case. David Karp discusses this new amendment to the Supreme Court Rules and provides a sample acknowledgement that complies with the new amendment.
The new Family Law Section Blog will provide section members with valuable information concerning issues that are important to attorneys with a special interest in family law.