You see Attorneys who advertise on tv, radio the internet etc. Should I avoid them? Here’s my take: there are good lawyers who run ads. There are also great lawyers who do not. At the end of the day, ask around. Some attorneys are just ‘paper tigers’ with an ad campaign. And guess who pays for the ads?
That’s right… you.

Perspectives October 13, 2015 Jokes, and questions (first new blog entry)

If you made it here, it is likely due to the newly revamped website  Hurray!  I know how painful and sensitive the divorce process, particularly in the Milwaukee area, can be.    I thought I would start with a  divorce/lawyer joke or two just to lighten the mood.    The first one: a judge was reading out his decision on the four items of property: the car goes to the wife, the tools go to the husband, the retirement accounts go to the wife and (Ha Ha) the house goes to the divorce lawyer.

The second one: One client was about to start his first divorce hearing.   He asked another client who had just finished his case: why is a divorce so expensive?    The second client stared at the first client and grinned.  He then slowly said “because it is sooo worth it”

O.k. those aren’t the funniest jokes ever but I do find it helps to try to laugh a bit during this difficult time.  I have often said that while several clients have died during the pendency of their case, no one has actually died from a divorce.  If you are feeling stressed or down or nervous while thinking about or going through a divorce, I think it is good to seek out resources that can help you.   Friends can be great support.   Bookstores have self help books that can help.   Counseling is great.   Don’t be afraid to ask around.

In future blog posts, I am going to post ideas that I hope can help YOU get through your divorce situation and respond to the ‘frequently asked questions’ that most people have.

Here are a few:  KNOW YOUR JUDGE.   Some judges in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Waukesha, Racine Kenosha or elsewhere do things ‘their own way’.  For example, I heard one judge say “I don’t like splitting placement time during the school year”.   This is not the standard position and it is good to know this going in!   Other judges simply do NOT grant adjournments….even for good reasons.   There is little sense trying to convince these judges to give you one.

WHAT ABOUT MY NEW GIRL/BOYFRIEND?   The simple answer is keep them out of the picture during a placement or custody dispute.  Of course, sometimes this is not totally practical.   Further, the new significant other is more of a long standing friend who is great with your children.  You really need to carefully think about when and how you bring this up in front of the children.

WHO SHOULD MOVE OUT?   If custody and placement are not at issue, it generally does not matter.  However, keep in mind that the person who moves out often takes less ‘stuff’ as a practical matter.  It may cost you  enough to bother you, but not enough to hire an appraiser.  In that case, the person who moves out may come out a little bit more ‘in the hole’.

INFIDELITY?    By statute, Wisconsin is  a no fault state.  If custody or placement are issues, the issue of infidelity could affect the case if the infidelity has somehow caused damage to the children.   In practice, infidelity is usually NOT a significant  factor in outcomes.

More in future posts!








practice3Going through a divorce can be a difficult and confusing time. Divorces often involve lawyers, court dates, and a lot of time and costs, if the two parties disagree on numerous issues. Divorce law and family courts seek to remedy these disagreements. A few people may find themselves in a pretty straightforward divorce, where there is no disagreement at all. Those few probably only need guidance with divorce papers but not much else. Many people find themselves in the middle, where they are able and willing to come to agreements outside of court, but may not be able to agree on everything. These people may have different views on the best way to settle issues like child custody, support, and property division, but do not necessarily have to go to court to settle their issues. These parties can settle using a collaborative divorce procedure


practice8There is no fixed way to determine how you or the Court should decide how to divide your property, although our law says the division should be “equitable,” and equitable almost always means equal. Other factors include whether or not property belongs to the marital community or is the sole and spate property of one of the parties. If you and your spouse agree on a division of property, the Court will usually approve your written agreement. If you cannot agree, the Court will equitable divide your property and debts.

In Wisconsin, Property acquired during marriage from the parties’ incomes is called community property. Community property includes financial accounts, retirement and pension accounts, houses, land, business interests, loans owed to you, furniture and other tangible items, and any other items of value. As a general rule, community property is divided equally between the parties, although there are some exceptions. For example, if one of the parties wasted community property (by gambling, drugs, etc.), or hid community property, the Court may award the other party more property.