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Find the Right Divorce Attorney For You in Madison

 Posted on July 26, 2020 in Uncategorized

There are over 76,258 divorce lawyers employed in the US. Before filing for a divorce, however, it's important to find the one lawyer who can help. Otherwise, you might miss an essential step when building your case.

Here are the seven tips you need when searching for a qualified divorce lawyer in Madison, WI. With these tips, you can find a lawyer who will simplify the process for you.

Filing for a divorce is complicated enough. Instead of making the mistake of choosing the wrong lawyer, start your search with these easy tips.

1. Ask Your Inner Circle

First, it's important not to wait until things get serious to start searching for a divorce attorney. It can take anywhere from months to years to decide your marriage is reaching an end. If you're exploring your options, it helps to consult a lawyer right away.

Your lawyer can give you an estimate of what you'll need to finance your divorce. They'll also help you recognize the steps you need to take before filing for divorce. Otherwise, you could end up in court without the documents you need.

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Understanding What the Divorce Process Actually Looks Like in Practice

 Posted on July 10, 2020 in Uncategorized

One of the toughest decisions you'll ever make is choosing to end your marriage. Dealing with the emotional and legal aspects of the divorce process at the same time is especially difficult.

Every marital breakup is unique, and there are lots of legal and financial issues to navigate. When you have children to consider, it can add to the stress and volatility of the situation.

Divorce is never easy. But understanding the process will help you prepare for what's to come. Here's what the divorce process looks like in Wisconsin.

Getting a Divorce in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, to obtain a divorce, one spouse must declare the marriage as irretrievably broken. It's not necessary for both parties to agree on this statement.

To obtain a divorce or a legal separation, one party should be a resident of the county where they file for divorce for at least 30 days prior to filing. And one party must be a Wisconsin resident 6 months prior to filing.

You don't have to be legally separated to obtain a divorce. Before filing for divorce, you should speak with an experienced divorce attorney. You need an expert who will keep your best interests at heart during this trying time.

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Embracing and Coping With the 5 Emotional Stages of Divorce

 Posted on June 30, 2020 in Uncategorized

In 2018, there were over 782,000 divorces in the US. If you are considering divorce or your spouse has asked you for a divorce, you may be feeling many different emotions. Did you know that there are 5 emotional stages of divorce?

Like you would grieve a loved one, you may also grieve your marriage. To learn more about the five stages of divorce, read on.

1. Denial

Denial is the first stage of most grieving process. In a divorce, you might try to ignore that it's happening, try to convince your spouse to change their mind, or refuse to accept their attempts to try to discuss the divorce.

Denial is especially pronounced if you are not the spouse who initiated the divorce. If you are the one who is asking for the divorce, you may have already worked through the denial phase before you approached your spouse about a divorce.

Denial is your mind and body's way of protecting you until you are emotionally ready to deal with the divorce. It is used as a coping mechanism to avoid facing the reality of your situation, but eventually, you'll need to move on from this stage.

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John T. Fields & Associates Providing Virtial and Phone Consultations to Manage COVID-19 Concerns

 Posted on May 07, 2020 in Uncategorized

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues to dynamically change and impact our daily lives. Our client support services remain uninterrupted. We have adjusted our client support to manage everyone's safety.

John T. Fields & Associates continues to work diligently to manage the safety of our legal professionals, staff and the community while at the same time providing the best client care through this period.

We want to assure clients that your level of service will not be disrupted and our law firm will work with you to ensure your legal matter continues to move forward as efficiently as possible during these uncertain times.

As an added precautionary measure, John T. Fields & Associates also offers clients the option of meeting with an attorney over the phone or via a virtual Zoom video conference.

Clients in Madison, Milwaukee, Racine, Waukesha and Brookfield have the added option of scheduling their virtual consultation online. Just follow the link to your local office page and complete the consultation form.

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Mediation in Family Law

 Posted on November 27, 2017 in Uncategorized

Mediation is a tool used by the courts in many types of family law cases.

Mediation is used during the divorce process, to settle disputes between two parents that are not married and to settle matters between the parties after the divorce is over. The role of a mediator is to be a neutral party that can be objective, and help you and your spouse or child's parent communicate effectively and find a way to meet in the middle, so to speak. When you file a case in the family court, you are usually automatically ordered to attend a session of mediation with a court appointed mediator. In other cases, you and the opposing party can hire a private mediator, who is usually a retired judge or a very experienced attorney. Let's take a look at a few scenarios and see how mediation could be of use. Perhaps you find yourself in a similar situation.


During the Divorce Process

Scenario #1

You and your spouse cannot agree on custody and placement of the children, and the court has ordered you to attend a mediation session. This is a setting in which a mediator can help you and your spouse communicate as to what the best interests of your children are. You do not have to come to an agreement in mediation. In fact, in many contested cases, mediation fails because one party is overly demanding, and was never going to come to an agreement anyway. If this is the case, the court will most likely order a Guardian ad Litem to be appointed to your case. A Guardian ad Litem is an attorney that is appointed to represent the best interests of the children in a custody or placement dispute.

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How to Start a Divorce in Wisconsin

 Posted on November 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

“I want a divorce.”

We all hate those words in that combination. We never want to hear them, but many of us have, either directly or indirectly.

If only saying those words can make a divorce happen, like spreading magic dust or saying “Beetlejuice” three times. Alas, divorce is not easy, and in some ways it should not be that easy. A marriage is a legal contract, after all.

To break that contract takes preparation. Before you utter those words, you should know about legal steps to take to get a divorce in Wisconsin

Get Proper Divorce Forms in Wisconsin

The good news is, Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state, which means you don't need legal “grounds” to file a divorce (such as abuse, infidelity, etc.). In that sense, it can be “easier” to get a divorce.

However, as you might guess, it still requires many legal forms to get filled out.

Some counties in Wisconsin may have slightly different versions of these forms, or additional forms than these, so it will be important to check with your local court to find out what they specifically require. Statewide, however, you are required to fill out the following:

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Contested vs Uncontested Divorce

 Posted on November 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

Are you nervous about the cost to file for divorce in Wisconsin?

If you've already made the difficult decision to sever a relationship with a spouse, it may help to know that costs vary widely depending on how a divorce is contested.

Regardless of whether your Wisconsin divorce is contested or uncontested, having an attorney that will represent you with confidence makes all the difference. Many clients in Dane, Columbia, Rock, Sauk, Jefferson and Green counties have chosen John T. Fields & Associates to handle their legal situation. A trusted firm with deep knowledge of the law, our attorneys do not stop until you receive the best possible settlement in a divorce case.

A divorce settlement can be reached with or without a trial. As a general rule, costs associated with uncontested divorce in Wisconsin run significantly lower than contested cases.

Wisconsin Uncontested Divorce Cases

One of the most important factors affecting the cost to file for divorce in Wisconsin is the level of cooperation between spouses. Jointly filing, the easiest way to complete an uncontested divorce, makes the entire process much more predictable, less time consuming, and far less expensive.

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What to Know Before Filing for Divorce in Dane County, WI

 Posted on November 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

Making the decision to file for divorce is never easy.

When a relationship falters and seems beyond the point of repair, it might make sense for both parties to legally part ways. While difficult, certain factors can make filing for divorce less of a burden. It certainly pays to have the preparation and determination of an experienced Madison divorce lawyer. An adequate legal representative must have keen familiarity with all Wisconsin divorce laws that may impact a case.

Understanding Wisconsin divorce laws

For those wondering if they actually have legal grounds for a divorce in Wisconsin, it's important to understand that Wisconsin is a “no fault” divorce state. This means the petitioner, or the person filing for divorce, doesn't need to prove any wrongdoing from the other party. Irreconcilable differences, or irretrievable breakdown, is the only ground required when filing.

Before looking into how to get a divorce, it helps to understand the residency requirements of Wisconsin divorce law. At least one spouse must have legal residency in the state of Wisconsin for 6 months prior to filing. They also need to be legal residents of the county in which they file for at least 30 days.

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How Do Wisconsin Courts Decide Child Custody?

 Posted on November 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

Children are perhaps the most at risk for trauma in a divorce, legal separation or custody case.

This is why, in Wisconsin, the child's best interests are always considered first. The courts in Wisconsin handle custody cases in a conciliatory way, where the first presumption is that it is in the best interest of the child to have equal contact and visitation with both parents.

Joint custody is the initial presumption, and developments during a custody proceeding may or may not push the judge to issue sole custody and visitation to one parent over the other based on various circumstances and factors

Child Custody and Placement

Some of the vital decisions before a Wisconsin family court will involve custody and placement. Custody is the legal right of a parent (or both parents in a joint-custody case) to make major life and legal decisions about their child(ren), including school, religious beliefs and worship attendance, getting a driver's license or consent to marry as examples.

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What to Do When You Are Served With Divorce Papers

 Posted on September 26, 2017 in Uncategorized

Help! I just got served with divorce papers!

State law has very specific provisions outlining how the divorce process in Wisconsin begins. When someone gets served divorce papers, their best response is to immediately contact a Madison divorce attorney. Under the divorce laws in Wisconsin, the filing spouse becomes the “petitioner” in a serious legal action against the “respondent.” If the respondent doesn't obtain expert legal advice, they could be disadvantaged by lack of clarity on their rights and responsibilities. The divorce papers will specify a response deadline, and missing it could result in a default judgment against the respondent.

Be aware that default judgments result in the petitioner getting everything they made a claim for in the divorce papers. This is especially troubling for respondents as divorce petitions often include unreasonable, outlandish, and even insulting requests. Respondents should keep a level head; these requests are made with the expectation of negotiations and counterclaims, but failure to respond could have life-altering consequences. The Madison divorce lawyers at John T. Fields and Associates understand the game and the stakes of high asset divorce… and will fight like a pitbull to win.

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