Kowalski Family Law Blog

Latest from Kowalski Family Law Blog

Earlier blogs discussed options to manage legal custody and physical placement during a servicemember’s deployment.   If one parent is unavailable, legal custody and placement are left to the other parent, by default.   Therefore, if a parent is deployed, the children must remain with the civilian parent unless he/she is unfit. But what is the option if both parents are in the military and could be deployed at the same time?   Or if there is only…
Deciding whether or not to initiate a divorce is a devastating decision. If you come to the conclusion that divorce is the correct choice for your circumstances, access to reputable advice on maneuvering the process is important. Here are 54 tips from experts pertaining to the best ways to prepare for the divorce process. For experienced legal counsel throughout your divorce, contact Kowalski Family Law. Choosing the right lawyer is vital when the future remains…
Deployment is a fact of life for servicemembers. The member has little control over the timing or location, and in most cases, the spouse and children remain in the US. Until now, parents had few options to shape their child placement schedule in the event of deployment. However, a new Wisconsin statute provides greater flexibility. Wisconsin Act 20 (2021) grants parents the right to make “contingent” placement agreements, which had previously been prohibited. The judge…
The United Nation’s definition of violence against women is as follows: “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.” Coercive control, which entails toxic and controlling behaviors toward a spouse, often poses as a precursor to domestic abuse incidents. Some are…
As discussed in an earlier blog, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) grants servicemembers a “stay” or freeze of a divorce or child custody case until s/he can legitimately participate. Upon the servicemember’s request, the case must be suspended for 90 days. However, what happens if a real emergency makes a suspension unrealistic? Earlier blogs discussed various ways for the civilian spouse’s to dispute the request for stay and have the case heard earlier. See…
If your spouse hides assets during the divorce process, it is illegal. When a financial disclosure statement is filled out, one must sign it under oath. Therefore, lying on the financial disclosure statement is considered perjury under Wisconsin law. The Wisconsin Statutes specifically state, “complete disclosure of assets and debts is required by law and deliberate failure to provide complete disclosure constitutes perjury.” Failure to identify or properly value one asset could result in a…
If you are getting married, you will benefit from a prenuptial agreement. There are numerous reasons why this is the case.  Getting married involves a contract. However, that specific contract does not aid in planning for what will happen if your partnership is dissolved. Here are three basic reasons why everyone needs a prenuptial agreement. For experienced representation that will ensure your assets are preserved, contact Kowalski Family Law. We will help you craft a…
Military members and their spouses should be aware of the following Wisconsin statutes and cases that could have an affect on child custody and placement disputes: Wisconsin Statutes 767.41(2)(e) and (5)(c): ” If a party is a service member, the court may not consider as a factor in determining the legal custody of a child whether the service member has been or may be called to active duty in the U.S. armed forces and consequently…
When dividing federal benefits in divorce, there are two retirement accounts federal employees are eligible for. The first account is the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS). Under FERS, employees are eligible for benefits from the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Read more about the Federal Employees Retirement System and how it functions here. If you are a federal employee or a spouse of a federal employee who needs help navigating the divorce process, contact Kowalski Family…
All divorce cases require an analysis of each spouse’s assets, debts, and income. Divorce involving a military servicemember is no different. Basic documents such as the leave and earnings statement (LES), disability determination, points statement, etc. should be obtained in every case. There are several ways to obtain this information, with the last resort being a direct request to the government. The documents may be kept in the marital residence, and therefore the civilian spouse…