Family Law FAQ
Few things in life are as emotionally, psychologically and financially challenging as a divorce or child custody conflict. At Schmidlkofer, Toth, Loeb & Drosen, LLC, we want to take the burden off your shoulders. Our attorneys combine over 100 years of legal experience in southeastern Wisconsin and will stand by your side throughout your case.
We are here to help you. It is understandable to have many questions before you get started you’re your divorce. Read our family law FAQ below, and schedule a free consultation at our Wauwatosa office to discuss your case further. Call 414-250-8548 to speak to one of our attorneys today.
How Long Does A Divorce Take In Wisconsin?
Every divorce is unique, and the exact amount of time your divorce will take depends on all the details of your case. Wisconsin does set a minimum though: 120 days.
Once a spouse files for divorce and the other spouse receives the divorce petition, you must wait 120 days before your divorce can be finalized. The purpose of this time period is to ensure nobody makes a rash decision and both parties have ample time to consider the details and consequences. Many divorces take longer than this, however – especially when one spouse is combative and you have to take your case to trial.
Can I Get Sole Custody Of My Child?
It is a common misconception in divorce law that a parent can easily receive sole custody of their child. While in the past judges would be more likely to give the mother more time with their child, today the law favors maximizing a child’s time with both parents. Ultimately the decision will depend on what is best for your child.
Getting absolute sole custody is rare and reserved for situations where one parent is deemed unfit to spend time with the child. This can occur in situations where one parent has a history of substance abuse or domestic violence, or if they have been convicted of another crime.
Our goal is to protect your rights, while also ensuring your child is in the best possible position following your divorce. If you have concerns about child custody, speak to one of our attorneys today.
Can My Child Choose Which Parent To Live With?
When your child is emancipated or over the age of 18, they will have full autonomy to choose which parent to live and spend time with. Until then, however, they will have to follow your divorce agreement or the judge’s child custody order.
While your child cannot simply choose for themselves, they may still have sway in the outcome of your case. When a guardian ad litem is appointed, they will represent the best interests of the child. These legal representatives listen to the child’s needs and desires and observe your domestic situation, and offer their professional opinion on what custody arrangement would be best.
How Is Property Divided During A Wisconsin Divorce?
Under Wisconsin law, nearly every asset either spouse acquires during the marriage is considered marital property. This excludes inherited assets and gifts to one spouse from a third party, but includes all real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, retirement assets, stock holdings, business ownership, patents, life insurance and even possibly the clothing on your back.
During a divorce, this property will be split equally (50/50). Part of the divorce process will involve valuating all of your assets and debts, and dividing everything between you and your spouse. One benefit of collaboration or mediation is that you and your spouse dictate how assets are divided, rather than leaving the decision in the hands of a judge.
There are some exceptions and deviations from this rule, and every case is different. To learn more about your divorce may impact you, schedule a free consultation.