Good Neighbors. Great Lawyers.

Blog - Divorce & Family Law

classic divorce mistakes.jpg

5 classic divorce mistakes to avoid

Sadly, happily-ever-after does not always happen, a reason many couples find themselves in court to dissolve what once appeared to be so promising.

5 tips for choosing a lawyer.png

5 tips for choosing a great lawyer

Whether you need help with estate planning, a divorce or a personal injury lawsuit, you’ll want and need to have the right attorney in your corner.

Adoption (2).jpg

Adoption: nearly always a happy story

Adoptions come in many forms—domestic and international—and here in the U.S. require voluntary or involuntary termination of parental rights.

Mediation 2.jpg

Alternative dispute resolution can save time and money

Considered cost-effective, fast, flexible and fair, ADR is the most popular method for resolving disputes in this region.

animal companions.jpg

Animal Companions: Three Legal Issues to Consider Before You Adopt

Companion animals can be wonderful additions to a home or family.

Pokemon Go 2.jpg

Augmented reality meets metal and glass: Poke-risks in a Poke-verse

Pokemon is nothing new. Since the late 90s, gamers have captured, trained and battled with hundreds of little creatures from the comfort of their couches. Pokemon has spawned anime and manga television series, a few dozen films and a lovely low-tech card trading game that cost unknown numbers of third graders stern reprimands during silent reading time. Now, the Pokemon franchise gives us some legal issues to consider.

joint account.jpeg

Bank accounts: can boyfriend transfer funds without my permission

My boyfriend and I own a house together (both names on title and mortgage). The bank allowed him to have the automatic monthly payment transferred from our joint checking account to his individual savings account without my permission. Can they do this?

Broken engagement: who keeps the ring?

It’s wedding season again.

Child Custody and Placement - Who Wins?

My husband and I are divorcing, and we both want sole custody of our only child. We aren’t able to resolve this ourselves, and it will probably end up in court. Since I’m the mother, isn’t it most likely I’ll win?

teen custody -- father's permission.jpg

Child custody: how can I get missing father's permission for international travel?

My 13-year-old daughter hasn't had contact with her father for several years (we don't know where he is). My husband and I want to take her on vacation, but I recently learned that to take her in and out of the country, she needs a notarized letter of consent from her father.. 

child custody vacation.jpeg

Child placement: vacations involve extra planning for split parents

Holidays and summer vacations are frequently an impetus for families to renegotiate shared custody arrangements.

Child placement: when can child decide?

In the state of Wisconsin, what age does a child need to be to determine with which parent he or she lives full time?

child support.png

Child support — Do I have to keep paying even though I lost my job?

I recently lost my job. Do I have to keep paying child support?


Choosing an Attorney: Five Tips to Follow

Whether you need help with estate planning, a divorce or a personal injury lawsuit, you’ll want and need to have the right attorney in your corner.


Co-Parenting: Little Eyes Are Watching

Breaking up is hard. Breaking up with someone you had children with is impossible—especially when the children are still at home.

Collecting child support from out-of-state parents

When a divorced parent decides to move out-of-state, child support payments rank along with custody and visitation at the top of concerns--especially for the parent receiving the child support payment.


Combating myths of maintenance after divorce

Once upon a time in America, men were the breadwinners and women sacrificed careers to raise the kids. Thus, women often received alimony after a divorce.

Commonly missed tax deductions

The search for tax deductions is a year-round effort, and it's a search that often includes oversights.

Gwyneth Paltrow.jpg

Conscious Uncoupling: a new spin on Collaborative Divorce?

Couples employing collaborative divorce find there’s less fear and anxiety since there’s no threat of going to court.

Child Placement.jpg

Cooperation key to child placement during the holidays

Holidays can be tricky when you have extended family.


Curfew Laws: Why you need to know where your child is

Many parents today remember a time when the 10 p.m. news began with a question for viewers: “It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your child is?”

custody decisions.jpeg

Custody decisions must focus on children

When either married or unmarried couples with children separate, their chief concern typically is their children.

divorce and debt.jpg

Divorce and debt: avoiding a nasty surprise

Spouses often think that debt the other spouse has incurred during marriage can’t affect them after a divorce.


Divorce and insurance: three important considerations

As if there isn’t enough to worry about when divorcing — child placement and support, maintenance, dividing assets and liabilities — you also need to think about insurance.

divorce and property.jpg

Divorce and property division: a house divided

Even if you are the primary wage earner in your marriage or the spouse who brought more to the marriage, you can expect assets—and debts—to be divided in a divorce.

Divorce and Taxes: Expect Changes

Without a doubt, divorce and taxes are among the least pleasant aspects of life. When combining the two, you may be surprised to see how much more unpleasant the implications can be.

administrative dismissal.jpg

Divorce: what does administrative dismissal mean?

In family courts in this region (southwestern Wisconsin), cases are dismissed for two reasons.

who gets dog.jpg

Divorce: who gets the dog?

It’s a question so common, it’s the name of a romantic comedy starring Alicia Silverstone now in post-production. Unfortunately when the question ‘who gets the dog’ arises in real life, there’s very little if anything comedic about it.

Divorcing couples means dividing property

Estimates suggest that more than 2,500 couples divorce each day in the United States. 

Prenup questions.jpg

Do you need a prenup? Depends on how you answer these four questions.

These four questions can help you determine whether a prenup makes sense for you and your partner.

wisconsin truancy law.png

Even the best students can face truancy issues

It’s not uncommon for any student to experience truancy issues—even those earning straight-As

Facebook posts can cost you time with your child

It seems we just can’t say it enough: be careful what you post on Facebook.

Legal Tips.jpg

Five everyday legal tips to make life easier

Life can be messy. Thankfully, with a little legal planning, some of the messiest aspects of life can be minimized or prevented altogether. These five legal tips can help you preemptively smooth out some of the transitions and trials of life.

DIY Divorce.jpg

Five reasons DIY should stand for DON'T do it yourself when it comes to divorce

In today's do-it-yourself mentality, fueled by easier access to how-to information than ever before, it's not uncommon for consumers to take on more tasks themselves.

Bury money.jpg

Five Things You Can't Do During Divorce

The divorce process is an emotional gauntlet that can be tough to navigate. After all, nobody walks down the aisle expecting their marriage to someday end. If you do find yourself at the end of your marriage, avoid further friction by considering the following “don’ts” during your divorce.

Choose Lawyer.jpg

Five tips for choosing a lawyer

Chances are at some point in your life, you'll need a lawyer. It is the nature of the complex world we live in that sometimes we need the guidance of an attorney to protect our interests. Whatever the reason, you want to make sure you get the caliber of representation you deserve. 

minor flying solo.png

Flying solo: when your children travel without you

My children are flying out west this summer to spend a week with my sister. What documents should I send with them for just-in-case incidents?

Christmas divorce.jpg

Four considerations for people Googling "divorce" after Christmas

Google searches for the word “divorce” show a notable decrease in the weeks leading up to Christmas and a significant increase in the 10 days following. If you find yourself contributing to these Google search patterns, you may find these tips helpful.

Living Together.jpg

Four things you need to know about cohabitation contracts

More than ever, couples are choosing cohabitation over marriage. If you and your partner are living together and want to maintain the simplicity you sought in the first place, you may want to consider a cohabitation contract.

timing your divorce.jpg

Four tips for timing your divorce

There’s a lot that should go into timing decisions—considerations that can make a big difference in the outcome.

Valentine's Engagement.jpg

Getting engaged: legal considerations lack romance

Valentine's Day isn't just all about love and chocolate. If it includes a marriage proposal, it can also be about oral contracts and conditional gifts.

Grandparents (sometimes) have legal right to visit grandchildren

Grandparents often lament not seeing their grandchildren as often as they’d like.

grandparents rights.jpg

Grandparents rights: not a sure thing

In an intact family—meaning married and no divorce—grandparents have no rights to see the children unless the parents agree.

adopting step child.png

Guide to adopting stepchildren

Adopting your stepchild may feel like a logical and easy step to deepening your relationship, but it’s essential to keep in mind what the change means for the child.

cost of divorce.jpg

How much does divorce cost in Wisconsin?

One of the first questions asked by someone contemplating divorce is how much does it cost?

hidden assets.png

How to find hidden bank accounts in divorce

According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, hidden assets exist in two-thirds of all marriages.

fido and family law.jpg

In divorce and family law, Fido counts too

Some states now are enacting legislation to recognize pets as beings with feelings and emotions, and with that, family law is changing.

divorce prep checklist.jpg

Infographic offers divorce prep checklist

Information is power, and when it comes to divorce, Johns, Flaherty & Collins wants you to know what you can expect and the decisions that await.

divorce infographic.jpeg

Infographic shows divorce by the numbers

Infographic offers a snapshot of divorce in Wisconsin and the U.S., including frequency, risk factors and the most common reasons couples pursue the option. 

spy on your spouse.jpg

Is it legal to spy on your spouse?

Spouses may spy to see if their partners are cheating, spending time with undesirable friends, drinking, gambling or otherwise behaving badly. But is it legal?

Judge Judy.jpg

Judge Judy versus small claims court: a battle for the real people's court

Our top six comparisons between Judge Judy and the real deal, better known to us as small claims court.

rubber duck.png

Legal Dilemma: Could I get in trouble for bathtub baby photos?

One of my Facebook friends said I could get into legal trouble for posting cute photos of my baby in the bathtub. Is that true?

custody battle.png

Legal dilemma: Divorcing spouses disagree on child's religion

My ex and I disagree on our child’s religion. If we leave it up to the court, how will it make a decision?

maintenance -- understanding taxes 2.jpg

Maintenance: understanding taxes

Don't forget about tax implications when planning your divorce settlement.

new divorce laws.jpg

New divorce laws in 2019

The new tax laws now in effect are creating significant ripple effects through homes across America, and some of the homes feeling it the most are those where couples are divorcing. 

Parents underage drinking.jpg

Parents and underage drinking: what you need to know

If you have a teenager, chances are you’re gearing up for prom and graduation season.

prenuptial agreement.png

Prenuptial agreements can be smart estate planning tools

The rising number of second and subsequent marriages combined with the rising age of first-time brides and grooms means more people are bringing more assets and children into marriages than ever before.

Divorce Can Cannot.jpg

Realistic expectations key for marriage ... and divorce

Believe it or not, marriage and divorce have a lot in common. While anticipating either, we tend to view them as panaceas. But in both cases, they rarely (if ever) are, and you’ll survive either one much better if you enter with realistic expectations. With that in mind, here’s what you can and cannot expect a divorce to do.

Recent and pending divorces: a tax filing primer

For people who divorced last year or who are in the midst of divorcing now, taxes are yet another of the many details to be negotiated.

Divorcing parents.jpg

Renegotiating child placement: stay focused on the children

When parents divorce, lawyers will very likely advise them on developing a child placement schedule.

estate plan divorce.jpg

Revising Your Estate Plan During and After Divorce

You are separated. Is this the time to change beneficiaries on life insurance and your retirement accounts?

Same-sex couple.jpg

Same-sex marriage v. Domestic partnerships

Now that same-sex marriage is legal throughout the nation, many same-sex couples in Wisconsin are wondering how that affects domestic partnerships. The answer is it doesn’t. The domestic partnership law still exists and is available to all adult couples. 


Screening sitters: eight steps to give you peace of mind

The end of the school year marks the beginning of summer sitter season. If you're among the many families looking for someone to watch your children, we have several screening suggestions to help.

Prenup questions.jpg

Should you say I do to the prenup?

Do you really need a prenuptial agreement? If you’re in Wisconsin, this quiz will help you decide.

Bride and Groom.jpg

Should you take your spouse's name?

Nearly 30,000 Wisconsin brides each year must decide whether to change their names when they marry. Among those, roughly 60 to 80 percent do take their husbands’ last names.

Wedding Ring.jpg

Six legal questions to ask before you get married

A lot of factors go into deciding whether to marry. In addition to love, lifelong commitment and companionship, you’re wise to also consider the practical side—including the legal aspects of a prospective tied knot. When it comes to legal questions, here are the top six you need to ask before you say "I do." 

Second marriage -- cropped.jpg

Six reasons to reconsider marriage later in life

By the time some single or divorced people reach age 50 or 60, they’ve sworn off marriage, even if they’re in a committed relationship.

ex-husband social security.jpeg

Social Security: can I collect benefits from ex-spouse's account?

Am I eligible to receive benefits from my ex-husband's account?

step by step 2.jpg

Step-by-Step Guide to Divorce

Understanding the steps involved in divorce can help you feel a bit more comfortable knowing what to expect during an emotionally taxing process.

substance abuse and custody.jpg

Substance abuse affects child custody and visitation decisions

Divorces where one partner abuses drugs or alcohol can be especially complicated when child custody and placement decisions are involved.

Taxes in Maintenance.jpg

Taxes in Maintenance

Tax implications should be considered in divorce settlements, according to attorney Sonja Davig.

Parenting agreements.jpg

The benefits of a parenting agreement

Over the course of his practice, attorney Brian Weber has seen the importance of creating parenting agreements for children after a divorce. 

Underage drinking.jpg

The party's at our house

We’re hosting a graduation party at home for our son and a few of his friends. As long as we’re supervising, is there any problem with serving a little beer?


Three legal steps to take when baby comes

Even though Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel’s baby will be born into vast wealth and celebrity, they still have one thing in common with married parents in our neck of the woods.

Smart Phone Safety.jpg

Three tips for smart phone safety

With families’ busy schedules today, it’s often easier for everyone when the kids, like the parents, have a cell phone.

business owners facing divorce.jpg

Tips for business owners facing divorce

Anyone contemplating a divorce has a lot at stake, and if you’re a business owner, you can add a whole new list of considerations.

contemplating divorce.jpg

Top 10 questions to ask your divorce attorney

If you’re contemplating divorce, one of the most important steps you can take to relieve stress is hiring the right attorney. 


Top 5 Legal Issues for Pregnant Women and New Moms

As with any major life change, when you’re pregnant or bringing a new baby home, there are often accompanying legal considerations. 

Spousal Support.jpg

Top four spousal support questions

It used to be that women stayed home to care for the house and children while men went out and earned the paycheck. Clearly, times have changed, and two-income households are more the norm for married couples. It’s one area where the law has kept pace with society’s changing demographics, and in more and more cases, maintenance (formerly known as alimony) today looks very different than it did even 30 years ago.

Destination Wedding.jpg

Top three legal tips for destination weddings

June remains the most popular month for weddings, and a surprising number of those weddings — one in four — will be destination weddings where the nuptials take place at least 100 miles from the bride’s home.

Toy Safety Update 2011: Dreaming of an iChristmas

Based on recent buying trends, it would appear many people this year are dreaming of an iChristmas

same-sex marriage.jpg

U.S. Supreme Court to discuss same-sex marriage

A lot of eyes will be on the U.S. Supreme Court next Monday.

Underage drinking could cost parents

If you have a teenager, chances are you’re gearing up for prom and graduation season.  But if alcohol becomes part of those special events, both you and your teen stand to get in serious legal trouble.

guide to divorce 2019.jpg

Users Guide to Divorce

A booklet full of insider knowledge and tips to help you move through divorce.


Visitation: do I have to let ex-wife see children?

If parental rights have been terminated, the mother has no legal right to the children.


Visitation: how can I see my son?

My former girlfriend has full custody of our son, and doesn’t want to give me visitation rights. What can I do? I’m paying child support. I should get to see my son.


What is yours is mine, but what is mine is... a look at common mistakes in dividing marital property

With love in your eyes and a wedding about to happen, the idea of planning for ending your marriage seems unseemly. But the reality is marriages may end, requiring the splitting of property. 

Spouse Debt.jpg

What to do when a spouse racks up debt

Research has shown time and again that financial and money disagreements are leading causes of divorce, so it should be no surprise that they are also one of the most contentious issues to resolve when the marriage ends.

Home Alone.jpg

When is my child old enough to stay home alone?

My child has been going to day care after school, where she stays until I finish work.

Bullying -- edited.jpg

Wisconsin law on bullying limited

With increasing reports of bullying today, it is natural for parents to worry. Research has shown how bullying can lead to emotional scars, even suicide.