Advocating For You During Divorce And Asset Division

Divorce

It can be difficult to make wise, lasting decisions when you are in the middle of divorce proceedings. In these personal disputes, disagreements over past wrongs can derail negotiations or lead spouses to make choices they regret after their divorce agreement has been signed.

Partnering with a qualified attorney can help you keep your proceedings on track and can protect your best interests at an overwhelming time. At Bridge Law Office, LLC, my legal team and I will guide you through all stages of the divorce process. As your legal advocate, I will aggressively work to resolve your family law disputes in the most effective manner possible.

With regard to the division of real estate and personal property, Wisconsin is a marital property state. All property owned by spouses at the time of their divorce is considered marital, unless it was acquired as a gift from a third party or if it was obtained as an inheritance. Those exceptions can be blurred if the party who could claim the exemption has commingled the property or otherwise changed its character to convert it to marital property. In those cases, to assert an exception, the party claiming it will have to provide tracing of the asset from its original source and will have to demonstrate that he or she did not intend to convert the gift or inheritance into a marital asset. Parties can have significant disagreements and costly litigation over these points.

In deciding how to divide the property of the parties to a divorce, the court will start with a presumption that the property be divided equally. However, the court may deviate from the presumption of an equal division of property after considering a number of statutory factors. Notable are: the length of the marriage, property brought into the marriage by each party, whether one party has substantial assets not subject to division by the court, the contribution of each party to the marriage, giving appropriate economic value to each party's contribution in homemaking and child care, the age and physical and emotional health of the parties, the earning capacity of each party, tax consequences, any written agreement between the parties regarding property division, the length and amount of maintenance (alimony) to be received and whether the proposed property division is in lieu of such payments and finally, a catchall: such other factors as the court in each case determines to be relevant.

It is not difficult to see that property division may involve many considerations that make each case unique. Many people who were married without a Pre-nuptial Agreement are surprised to find that all of their premarital property that was not a gift from a third party or an inheritance is before the court for consideration. How much of that property ends up getting divided by the court will depend upon the court's application of the statutory factors.

Using my experience and knowledge of Wisconsin law over the 35 years of my practice, I have the ability to negotiate a resolution of your case in a way that will fairly incorporate the relevant sections of the statutes. When negotiation fails and the issue of how your property will be divided will be litigated by the court, you will want by your side an attorney who understands the statutes and who can argue the merits of your position effectively.