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Madison Property Division Attorneys

Rock County community property division lawyer

Divorce Lawyers in Dane County Helping Spouses Divide Their Community Property

At John T. Fields & Associates, LLC, we assist clients in Southern Wisconsin with all aspects of the divorce process, including the division of community property and debts. We understand the importance of accounting for all of a couple's assets and obligations and determining an appropriate value for each asset or debt. Our knowledgeable attorneys are fully up to date on the laws that govern the division of community property in the state of Wisconsin, and we are ready to put our experience to work for you.

What Is Community Property in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin Statute 767.61 contains most of the guidelines that address property division in a Wisconsin divorce. A divorcing couple has the right to reach an agreement regarding their community and separate property, but when the matter is left to the court, only community property can be divided. According to the law, community property includes any assets or debts acquired by either spouse during the course of the marriage, with limited exceptions for gifts and inheritances that were given to one spouse. Property acquired before the marriage began is generally not considered to be community property.

Experienced Property Distribution Attorneys

Before marital property can be divided, the value of each asset or debt must be determined. Establishing a value is straightforward for some assets, like cash savings or a vehicle. For other assets, however, setting the value is more difficult. Retirement accounts or pensions, for example, are often complicated because while they may contain a specific amount of money at any given time, they are usually intended to be worth the most around the time that you reach retirement age. Determining a value for such assets for the purposes of a divorce often requires a financial professional with experience in these types of cases. At John T. Fields & Associates, LLC, we work closely with a variety of financial professionals and other experts whose insight and knowledge can help get you the favorable outcome you deserve.

Once the marital estate has been identified and evaluated, it must be divided between the spouses. Under Wisconsin law, each divorce case begins with the presumption that community property should be divided equally between the two spouses. However, the court may choose to deviate from the presumed 50/50 split after considering a variety of circumstantial factors, including:

  • The contributions made by each spouse to the marriage, including those of a spouse who stayed at home to raise children or maintain the home.
  • Any allegations of wasteful spending—called dissipation—by either party.
  • Each spouse's age, occupation, health, and earning ability.
  • Each spouse's current financial situation, as well as considerations regarding how these situations may change in the future.
  • Arrangements being made for the couple's children.
  • Obligations of spousal support arising from the same divorce matter.
  • The tax implications of dividing property.
  • Any other factor deemed to be relevant by the court.

It is important to keep in mind that the law does not give the court much guidance regarding how to divide marital property, other than the guidelines described above. This means that it is generally in your best interest to negotiate a marital property settlement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse if possible.

With more than 35 years of family law experience, the attorneys at John T. Fields & Associates, LLC are prepared to help you reach an agreement that protects your rights and gives you the resources you need to build the happier future you deserve. If an amicable negotiation is not possible, however, we are prepared to litigate on your behalf in the courtroom as well.

Contact a Dane County Property Division Attorney

If you are considering a divorce and have questions about how your property will be divided, contact our office. Call 608-729-3590 to schedule a confidential consultation today. Our firm serves clients in Dane County, Green County, Columbia County, Rock County, Dodge County, Rock County, and throughout Southern Wisconsin.

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