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Pension Rights and Your Divorce

 Posted on December 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

Whether negotiating a settlement or engaging in a high asset divorce dispute, rights to retirement savings and pensions are incredibly important.

Pensions and retirement savings are valuable bargaining chips are often overlooked by spouses preoccupied with establishing possession of more tangible properties like houses and vehicles. Divorcing couples tend to view the house as the most valued property in an adversarial dispute, but securing rights to pension plans and other investments often provides greater long-term benefits to the asset holder.


Divorce Assets Worth Fighting For

There are many kinds of accounts to be divvied up in a Wisconsin high asset divorce. Different kinds of accounts have different rules affecting marital property division. Some factors include:

  • the valuation of comparable accounts
  • investments under the spouse's name
  • the length of the marriage

Some of the most commonly disputed marital assets include:

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Coping With A Difficult Spouse

 Posted on December 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

Dealing with a uncooperative spouse during the divorce process can be very stressful.

Even the most amicable divorce comes with its fair share of stress, but when one spouse is determined to make the situation as difficult as possible, it can seem unbearable. Perhaps one spouse does not want the divorce and they may try to do anything they can to slow the process, hoping the other party will eventually be willing to reconcile. Or, perhaps one spouse is financially dependent on the other and does not want to lose the financial support they had while married. And then there's always the spouse that may see their attempts to complicate the divorce process as their way of “getting even” with their spouse.

The number one issue that divorcing couples have are problems communicating. Communication between spouses may have been difficult prior to the marriage disintegrating, but after the divorce is filed it can become nearly impossible. There are things that can make communication more clear and smooth during the divorce process.

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FAQ: When Is A Party Entitled To Maintenance?

 Posted on December 14, 2016 in Uncategorized

A divorced party is not automatically entitled to alimony or maintenance.

The law acknowledges that marriages are partnerships and even though one party may not have worked at a wage paying job, he or she is presumed to have contributed equally to the marriage in other ways.

These contributions could be:

  • child rearing
  • managing a household
  • providing physical and emotional support to the wage earning spouse

The party asking for maintenance must have a need for it and the other party must have the ability to pay. If both side's criteria exist then the court will look at a number of factors to determine not only the amount of maintenance to be paid but also for how long it is to be paid.

The factors included would be:

  • Length of marriage
  • Age and physical and emotional health of the parties
  • The division of property
  • Educational level of each party at the time the action is commenced

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Parental Kidnapping During Divorce or Custody Case

 Posted on December 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

During a heated divorce or custody case, parents often become bitter or angry at the other spouse.

Usually a parent will attempt to minimize or limit the other parents' placement or visitation time. Sometimes this is being difficult in working with pickups and drop-offs. Other times, it can mean the child not being dropped off at all. When one parent refuses to return the child to the other parent, parental kidnapping has occurred.

Parental kidnapping is much more than a simple custody dispute. It is intentionally taking or hiding a child to prevent a parent or legal guardian from having the custody which they are entitled to. In some Parental Kidnapping cases, the parent will have the child change names, attempt to change the appearance of the child, and move with the child a great distance away. This not only affects the other parent's rights, but also affects the child caught in the middle. It can be a very traumatic event for the child involved, causing psychological problems later in life. The child may begin to question his identity as everything he once knew has been taken away.

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FAQ: How Do I Know What Is The Best Route For My Case?

 Posted on December 07, 2016 in Uncategorized

Divorces today are more complicated than ever.

Deciding whether to hire a mediator or lawyer portrays a large role in the success of your divorce battle. Our experienced Madison divorce lawyers highly recommend contesting your divorce and bringing your case to trial. A divorce can put your future largely at stake and should not be made by a non-legal representative.

Whether it's the custody of your child or your financial security, a mediator does not have the legal grounds to back your case. Mediators may offer quicker solutions, however they do not provide the legal advice necessary for a divorce. You divorce lawyer can provide substantial, legal advice where a mediator can only tell you where to find additional information.

John T. Fields & Associates have the knowledge in fighting for what is rightfully yours, offering clients unmatched, comprehensive legal support. Trust our leading divorce attorneys to win your contested courtroom battle. Contact us for an initial consultation. John T. Fields & Associates serves Madison, Wisconsin and the surrounding area.

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FAQ: What Are Grounds For Divorce?

 Posted on December 07, 2016 in Uncategorized

Do you have to prove that you have grounds for divorce in Wisconsin?

Grounds for a divorce are the legal reason clients file for a divorce. When thinking about filing for a divorce, you may be of the opinion you need “grounds” for the divorce or a reason for divorce. Modern divorce laws, or “no-fault” divorce laws, have eliminated the need for divorce grounds in most states


Wisconsin is a no-fault state.

No- fault means neither spouse is required to prove “fault” or marital misconduct on the other. Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage is the only grounds for a divorce in Wisconsin. The primary reasoning behind no-fault divorce laws is keeping emotions out of divorce court.

There are countless reasons for a divorce and every case is situational.

Cruel and inhuman treatments remain leading reasons for a divorce in the United States. Acceptable differences also constitute a spouse in having the ability to arrange grounds for a divorce.

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Divorce's Effect On Children

 Posted on December 06, 2016 in Uncategorized

Divorce can be a painful and stressful time for everyone involved, including your children.

Often during the divorce process, parents are overwhelmed with the situation they are facing. It is vital to remember that children are facing the same situation without the coping skills of an adult.

It is especially important at this time that parents reassure them of their love and that they will protect them throughout the divorce process. When filing for divorce in Wisconsin, some counties will require you and your spouse to complete what the court refers to as a parent education class to help you better assist your children in coping with divorce. You may also want to consider some counseling for your child, either through their school guidance counselor, your church, or another qualified professional. Here are some suggestions for you to help your children cope with the coming changes in their lives.

When Children Are In Danger

In some cases, children are put in dangerous situations as a result of a parent's poor judgment, addictions, or the new people a parent may choose to expose the children to, as well as other bad choices. For example, what if one parent has a drug or alcohol addiction? It is your job to protect your child, and an experienced divorce and custody attorney can fight for supervised placement while the child is in the care of the spouse with the addiction. This is accomplished by either a third party family member, or an outside service in your area that can accommodate supervised placement when appropriate.

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FAQ: Divorce Vs. Legal Separation

 Posted on December 03, 2016 in Uncategorized

It helps to understand the difference between a Legal Seperation and a Divorce.

A divorce is a legal proceeding which terminates the legal relationship between you and your spouse. As part of the divorce proceedings how assets are divided and decisons on child support, child custody and/or alimony are decided. A divorce ends the marriage.

A legal separation is very similar to a divorce in regards to the proceedings. The court can make judgments regarding issues such as child custody and property division just like a divorce, but when it is all said and done you are still married to your spouse.

Formal legal separations are relatively rare today but some people still pursue them for religious reasons or as a way to stay on their spouse's health insurance policy. Many people will say they are legally separated when they are actually going through a divorce. What they really mean is that the court has ordered them not to have contact with one another while the action is pending.

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FAQ: Joint Custody Vs. Primary Physical Placement

 Posted on December 01, 2016 in Uncategorized

Understanding the difference between joint custody or primary placement is very important when children are involved.

Joint Custody

Joint legal child custody means that both parties share legal custody of the child or children and that neither party's legal custody rights are superior to the other. The judge will grant joint legal custody if he feels that the parties can communicate with one another well enough to make joint decisions regarding the child's well being.

Primary Physical Placement

If the judge feels that the parties cannot communicate with one another, then one spouse will be granted sole legal custody giving that spouse the authority to make all the major decisions regarding the child or children and the other spouse will have very little to say about it. Primary physical placement means that one parent has the right to have the child placed with them and the right to make all the routine daily decisions regarding the child. Practically speaking, primary placement is very important because the parent that has primary physical placement of the child is not only the parent the child will actually live with, but also is the parent that receives child support. For more information on child custody in Wisconsin, child custody legal advice, or to schedule an appointment, contact us for an initial consultation. John T. Fields & Associates serves Madison, Wisconsin and the surrounding area.

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Alcohol's Role In Divorce

 Posted on November 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

Alcoholism can and does destroy marriages

In the United States today, it is estimated that 1 in 13 adults abuses alcohol or is an alcoholic, with more than 50% of adults having a family history of alcohol abuse. With any type of divorce or custody case, it is important to put the needs of the child or children first. When one parent has alcoholism, these cases become more challenging. Alcoholics have difficulty because most of the time they are focused on drinking. Unfortunately, this does not allow them to focus on being a parent and making sound decisions about what is in the best interest of the child. Alcoholism, like any addiction, is a disease which will affect a person for the rest of their life. There is no one-step cure and it can be a long battle with the disease.

Signs your spouse is abusing alcohol:

  • Their tolerance to alcohol has built up where it now takes more drinks to
  • They have given up other activities they used to enjoy, and instead are

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