Welcome to the Wisconsin Family Law Blog

WisconsinFamilyLaw.info is a forum of up-to-date legal information related to all aspects of divorce and family law in Wisconsin.  Our blog has become one of the most extensive sources for answers regarding family law issues and topics in Wisconsin.  Our goal is to provide meaningful, real time solutions and information to individuals in need of legal information and fresh perspective.  We understand that legal information and knowledge about your family law rights is critical when needing to make important decisions. The award winning family law firm of Nelson, Krueger & Millenbach, LLC invites you to explore our Wisconsin Family Law Blog and research various topics on divorce, child custody and placement, child support, maintenance (alimony), etc. to better your knowledge about your legal rights in Wisconsin.  If you wish to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys, please contact us at (414)258-1644 or visit our website.

At Nelson, Krueger & Millenbach, LLC, we are committed to supporting our clients throughout any difficult family law matter.  We spend the time needed to gain an understanding of our clients’ goals, values and concerns. Although many family law matters can be contentious, we believe that the best result is often achieved by finding creative solutions to difficult issues. Our lawyers are committed to solving client problems and allowing them to move on with their lives. In the event the parties are unable to reach a resolution, we are committed to obtaining the best possible results for our clients in court. Our clients know that while they will work with one lawyer throughout the process, they have the experience and expertise of the entire firm at their disposal. This allows us to develop the best legal strategy for each client while providing ongoing support during a difficult time.  Consistency of representation is a hallmark of our service. We return telephone calls promptly and answer your questions in a timely manner.

The attorneys at the Wisconsin law firm of Nelson, Krueger & Millenbach, LLC focus exclusively on family law matters.  Our goal is always to provide caring, experienced and diligent representation.  We are committed to superior personalized service and communication with our clients.

Our family law practice includes matters such as: divorce and legal separation, child custody and placement, child support maintenance (alimony), paternity, post-judgment disputes, modifications and enforcement.  We also handle restraining orders for domestic abuse or harassment.

If you are interested in meeting with one of our attorneys, please contact us at (414) 258-1644 to schedule a free initial office consultation or visit our website at www.nkmfamilylaw.com.


The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. The information on this website specifically applies to Wisconsin law and may be very different from the laws in other states.  You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. However, contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

27 thoughts on “Welcome to the Wisconsin Family Law Blog

  1. Can a parental grandparent have placement if the biological father (her son) is also awarded placement, regardless of the frequently of the placement? Is there some law that would address this? It feels like this would be overlapping placement and 2 parties would have placement of my children. It would seem that the biological fathers time should also be considered his families time? Is there a law to support this to a GAL or judge?

  2. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added”
    checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several
    e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
    Thank you!

  3. What can I expect at my first divorce hearing for temporary orders? Do the lawyers do all of the talking? Do I get to defend my case? How does it work?

    • It depends on the county but generally the attorneys do the talking with the occasional direct question to the parties. It is an informal hearing, with no court reporter. You should discuss this in detail with your attorney prior to the hearing.

  4. My divorce was final in July of 2007. At that time, I was awarded 100% placement and 17% of my ex’s income for child support. I have never had the child support adjusted or reviewed. My Ex husband has since remarried. I am thinking of requesting a review of our child support agreement. My question is, will the court look at his income only or his joint income when calculating a new/updated support order?

    • Only his income is used. His new wife has no legal obligation to support your child. The statutes do provide that child support may be reviewed/modified after the passage of 33 months from the last order. The statutes also provide, and your judgment of divorce may say this as well, that he is required to provide you income information upon request. I usually start there to see if support will change at all. You should seek a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney to determine your options and possible outcomes.

  5. If you are legally separated in Wisconsin, do you have to maintain car insurance with both parties on the policy? I want to get a policy of my own without my spouse but I’m not sure if that is allowed.

    • I am finding that some insurance companies are requiring it. I can understand that it if both you and your spouse are on the title to the car. However, there is no “law” which requires it. And, frankly, if you are legally separated, the insurance company should not be requiring it either. If an insurance company is giving you a hard time about that, go to a different company. If the title is the issue, you should have your spouse sign off on the title to put it in your name only. You should probably do that anyway if you are legally separated.

  6. If my husband has a deposition because his ex is looking into his finances because she’s pissed for paying child support, can they look into my info as well? What are the limitations on my privacy in this matter? I would like to think that anything involving me is none of her business. We have 3 kids of our own and have his daughter 50/50.

    • Theoretically, they are not entitled to any of your information as you have no duty to support his children. However, his “general economic circumstances” can be relevant in some situations so your contributions to the household in terms of income may be subject to discovery. This is a rare case, however, beyond tax returns. I would suggest that you/he talk to his attorney about this or if he doesn’t have one, consult with an experienced family law attorney about the entire situation.

  7. I got divorced in 2011. At the time my ex husband and I made about the same amount of money so I waived child support. Since then I have lost my job. He has doubled his income. I am remarried and my new spouse started a business after we were married. If I file for child support now will my new husband’s business income affect the child support?

    • First, any time there is a substantial change in circumstances, child support can be modified. Second, a new spouse’s income cannot be included for purposes of determining child support. However, your “general economic circumstances can be considered which can, in a general way, pull that income into consideration. For example, if the court determines that business is really a joint venture between the two of you, you can be assigned some income from it as “marital property”. Third, the courts generally do expect everyone to work to their full capacity. So, you will be expected to find a new job to the best of your ability. The court will give you some time to do that but they will not use zero income for you in any calculations. Your best bet is to meet with an experienced divorce attorney to go through all of the facts of your case to determine what a likely outcome would be of a motion to modify child support. Good luck!

  8. Wisconsin DHS requires two witness signatures for a Health Care Power of attorney. They can not be related by blood or marriage. Is a brother in law considered related by marriage. One brother in law is widowed so technically he is no longer linked by marriage. They other brother in law is still married to the principal parties sister. Just can’t seem to find a definitive answer.

    • I’m sorry but this is out of the realm of our expertise. However, putting my “lawyer hat” on, if the statute says related by blood or marriage, then your brother-in-law who is still married to your sister is out. I don’t have an answer on the other one. To be safe, you should just have someone else witness your signature.

  9. In regards to my son we have had a mutual agreement on his schedule so far. We were never married but now we are having conflict when it comes to schooling. I’ve decided to take her to court and hired a lawyer. We were originally going to do mediation but she decided to back out. I have been the provider for health insurance, medical bills, pay child care, schedule doctor bills, provide a stable home, Ect.
    Am I making the right move with proceeding with court?

    • There is no way anyone can really tell you that, especially in answer to a blog post! You should consult with an experienced family law attorney. However, even an experienced attorney may have difficulty with that question. All an attorney can do is to review the facts and evidence and tell you what the likelihood of success in court would be. A therapist is really your best bet in terms of obtaining input into what is in the best interest of your son. I will tell you that mediation is required for custody and placement disputes and her decision to “back out” will not be looked upon positively by the court. Good luck.

  10. I was wondering what the state law was for grandparents rights? My ex passed away 6 years ago and my ex mother in law keeps threating of taking me to court for her visitation. We both live far away from eacher other. I have told her to call anytime and she can come up to visit anytime as well. My son does go for the summer to see her for like a week or two but that isnt good enough for her. Do I have to let him go for a month and do I also have to let her have him every other holiday? I don’t keep her from home at all. She just doesnt like that she cant have him for months on in.

    • Hello- the law in Wisconsin recently changed on this issue. Please see our blog at: https://wisconsinfamilylaw.info/2019/07/02/new-grandparents-rights-rule-in-wisconsin. However, in summary, it is now much more difficult for grandparent’s to obtain visitation. The law says that parents have the right to make a determination as to what is in their child’s best interests and the burden of proof is on the grandparent to show that those decisions are not in the child’s best interest. If you are letting her see the child periodically, then she likely would have a difficult time showing that. However, it would ultimately be up to the Court to decide. If you are concerned, you should consult with an experienced family law attorney in your area.

  11. My husband has joint custody with his ex wife of their two children. The oldest is eligible to take driver’s ed. One parent thinks the teenager is ready, while the other disagrees based on the lack of maturity of the child. The divorce agreement says “extracurricular“ activities should be split 50/50. Is there anything the disagreeing parent can do to prevent paying for driver’s ed or relinquish financial responsibility of insurance coverage or should the child be in an accident?

    • Whether a child can obtain his driver’s license is a joint custodial decision which must be made by both parents. If there is no agreement, then he likely will not be able to get his license until there is an agreement. If the other parent does it anyway, then they are solely responsible for all of the costs associated with the driver’s license itself such as driver’s ed and testing costs. However, a parent cannot relieve themselves of civil liability under the law if the child is in an accident. Therefore, you should put them under your insurance anyway. It is for your own protection.

  12. What are my financial obligations for my child who does not live with me? I Pay 17% of my Income in child support and I have joint custody. Placement is with his mom. Our support order does not address educational expenses or extracurricular activities like sports and drivers Ed. Mom says I am required to pay 50% of everything plus child support. Is that true?

    • Hello – if you are paying full child support (17%), you are not obligated to pay any other expenses except for 1/2 of uninsured medical expenses. The maximum child support the court can order you to pay is 17% of your gross income unless the court finds it is unfair to one of the parties or the child. They almost never do so. You are only required to pay towards expenses if you have some type of shared placement and you have received a reduction in your child support as a result.

  13. If the court order says that I am supposed to pay 601$ a month in child support and i pay that in the first 2 paychecks of the month, what happens when there are 3 paychecks in the month and they get an extra full payment on the third check of 300$.

    • Income assignments should be calculated as follows: if your support order is $601 per month, then you pay $7,212 per year. Divide that by 26 bi-weekly pay periods and $277.38 per pay period should be coming out of your check. If this is not what is happening, then you need to contact your local Child Support Enforcement Agency to correct the income assignment.

  14. I my grandsons mom ( my daughter) passed away on Christmas 2013 when he was 2: years old. He lived with me for 6 years with occasional visits from his dad until he was 7 when his dad and now wife took him. Since that time I have had my grandson every other weekend and never missed a Christmas with him coming to my house to spend time with his brother ( different dad’s) and his mom’s family. Now all of a sudden his stepmom and dad are saying he can’t ever come to my house anymore including Christmas. They are trying to alienate his mom’s family. I want to file for Grandparents rights visitation in Sauk County but don’t know the name of the form I need.

    • Please accept our sympathies at the loss of your daughter and what you are going through. It sounds as if you absolutely have grounds to file a motion for grandparent visitation. That is what you need – a Notice of Motion and Motion with Affidavit. However, there is a more important question. Was your daughter and bio dad ever married? If so, you file your Motion under the former divorce action. If not, was there a formal paternity action? If so, you can file your motion under the paternity case. If not, you may have to start an entirely new action. You will very likely need the assistance of an attorney for this. Find someone who specializes in family law in your county. Most attorneys will offer free consultations so even if you can’t afford to hire someone, they can start you in the right direction. Good luck to you.

We welcome your comments or questions. We will do our best to try to respond. However, please be advised that we cannot give legal advice in this forum and all communications are for general informational purposes only. Communication should not be construed as forming an attorney-client relationship. This is an open forum and any information you provide may be posted and will not be held confidentially. By posting a comment or question, you are expressly giving consent for the publication of same. If you have any specific legal issues or concerns, we always recommend that you consult with an attorney in the county and state in which you reside.

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