Addressing the Unexpected During a Divorce Proceeding

Shocking news.The recent events involving Lamar Odom’s hospitalization, which had the unexpected result of Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom petitioning the court to dismiss the couples divorce action, highlights how stressful divorce can be for many couples. Kardashian explained that this request to halt the divorce was to make medical decisions on Odom’s behalf after the former NBA player was found unconscious in a brothel in Nevada in October.

There are many reasons a couple may consider either dropping a divorce action, or putting the action on hold. Medical emergencies, such as Lamar Odom’s, may occur and incapacitate a party, their children, or family members. Courts must weigh circumstances that may a delay in the legal proceeding, such as medical emergencies, with an individual’s rights to have his or her legal matter addressed in a timely manner. This can easily affect how the divorce action proceeds, as well as the timeline for conclusion.

On the other hand, a couple may decide that they would like attempt to save their marriage and reconcile. In Wisconsin, that couple can submit to the court a Stipulation and Order to suspend proceedings to effect reconciliation. This document would request that the court allow up to 90 days for the parties to try and save their marriage with the intent end the divorce proceedings. After the 90 days, the parties must then notify the court as to whether or not they wish to proceed with the divorce. Further, a couple can request that the Court dismiss the divorce action at any time before the divorce is finalized.

Lamar Odom’s situation also highlights the importance for any party, at the start of a divorce action, to consider who they want to make financial or medical decisions for them if they were to become incapacitated. This may require a party to amend their powers of attorneys accordingly. If an individual were to suddenly become incapacitated during the pendency of a contentious divorce, they may no longer wish to have their spouse make such important decisions on their behalf.

Any individual who facing similar circumstances during their divorce or family law action, should feel confident that his or her attorney can offer legal solutions throughout the entirety of the legal action, regardless of whatever unique circumstances are involved. If you are facing this difficult situation, call us at (414) 258-1644 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

Can a Divorce be Suspended to Attempt Reconciliation in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, parties have the option to suspend their divorce proceedings at any time prior to the judgment of divorce, if BOTH parties want to attempt to reconcile.

It takes only one party to begin a divorce proceeding, but both parties must agree to a suspension of divorce proceedings. To do so, the parties must sign a Stipulation and Order Suspending Proceedings to Effect Reconciliation in order to start the suspension. Once this form is filed with the court, the court will honor this request by giving the parties 90 days to reconcile. This essentially has the effect of putting the case on hold and nothing happens during this time period. Any upcoming court dates are cancelled.

Let’s say that both parties agree to suspend the divorce proceedings, but one party changes his or her mind prior to the 90 days. If this happens, at any time, the party who has changed his or her mind and wants to continue the proceedings has to file a Motion and Order to Revoke Suspension of Proceedings to Effect Reconciliation. Once filed, the divorce proceedings begin again and the court will schedule a status or pre-trial date.

In the alternative, what if both parties decide that they do not need the full 90 days because reconciliation was successful? In this situation, the parties can dismiss their case by filing a Stipulation and Order for Dismissal.

You need to be aware of your time constraints however, because if after the 90 days neither party has filed anything, the divorce proceedings will simply begin again and the court will schedule a status date or pre-trial.

Please note, the above described procedures and forms are used when parties want to suspend a Legal Separation procedure as well.