Call Us Today 608-729-3590

Recent blog posts

What to Do When You Are Served With Divorce Papers

Posted on in

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.

Note the divorce papers often include an emergency order for temporary child custody guidelines. These "temporary" guidelines require immediate attention because the current custody arrangement is often highly relevant toward the determination of child support and other child custody issues later in the hearing.


Pension Rights and Your Divorce

Posted on in

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:


Coping With A Difficult Spouse

Posted on in

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.

Communication During The Divorce Process

Put all communication in writing. If you must communicate with your spouse in person, it would be good to email them afterwards and confirm what items you discussed and any conclusions or decisions you came to. That way there is a record so that it cannot be later turned into a “he said - she said” situation.


FAQ: When Is A Party Entitled To Maintenance?

Posted on in

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.


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.

Warning Signs of Parental Kidnapping:

  • You have not been able to contact your child or the person with custody of your child for more than 12 hours.
  • Your spouse, or former spouse, has threatened to take the child before.
  • The other parent or guardian has recently quit their job, sold their home, gotten the child's medical records, or other activities which suggest moving.
  • The other parent has no strong ties to the child's home state.

In Wisconsin, if a parent has failed to bring the child to the individual who has court ordered physical placement or visitation rights for more than 12 hours after the beginning of the time, than parental kidnapping has occurred. The child does not need to be moved out of state for a parent or guardian to be guilty of parental kidnapping. Parental kidnapping is a felony charge in Wisconsin and the court can order the guilty party to pay restitution or reimburse the costs of attempting to find the child.

badge badge badge badge badge
Back to Top