Posted inDivorce, Maintenance

New Wisconsin maintenance case

The  Court of Appeals recently made a notable decision regarding Wisconsin maintenance in Brin v. Brin.  In this case, after divorce, the husband had paid maintenance (otherwise known as alimony) for 20+ years, into his 80’s.  He then asked the judge to terminate the maintenance to his ex-wife.  The judge reduced his payments to $0, and […]

Wisconsin family lawyers fees

Wisconsin family lawyers fees can sometimes prevent families from retaining a lawyer.  That need not be the case. Kowalski, Wilson & Vang, LLC was established to provide the highest quality representation for a reasonable cost in all family law cases.   I ensure reasonable cost for my clients through the following policies: A fully-electronic case file. This reduces paper copies and storage […]

Posted inDivorce

Dane County divorce cost

The cost of a Dane County divorce is difficult to predict.   I have settled some Dane County divorce cases in four months.    I have been involved with others for over six years.  The cost ultimately depends on the difficulty of the issues, the personalities involved, and the lawyers’ working style. I believe that the cooperation (or lack of it) between […]

Posted inDivorce

Finding Wisconsin divorce assets

Locating Wisconsin divorce assets is not usually as difficult as you may have heard.  Both spouses must make a full financial disclosure.   All assets, debts, income, and expense must be disclosed on the designated form.  These statements often form the basis for a judge’s decision on support and property division.  Therefore, they must be completed carefully. It is […]

Posted inDivorce

Wisconsin divorce and life insurance

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals recently clarified that, in a Wisconsin divorce judgment, life insurance beneficiary designations end once the children reach adulthood. Parents after divorce often agree to maintain life insurance for their children, partly to cover lost child support if one parent dies.  In Brandt v Vazquez,, the Court ruled that because the […]

Posted inMaintenance

Changes in Wisconsin maintenance

The Wisconsin maintenance (alimony) law was recently changed.   2013 WI Act 209 states that maintenance ends upon the recipient’s remarriage.   The law also requires the recipient to notify the court and the payer of the remarriage.  The law can be  found at   This law seems common sense, but previously, the payee was not required […]

Posted inDivorce

Wisconsin divorce expenses

There is no law requiring either spouse to pay certain expenses after a Wisconsin divorce is filed.     Spouses cannot sell or give away property without approval.   But without a court order, simply filing for divorce does not allocate payment of bills. Often, spouses agree on who will pay bills.  If you cannot agree, however, you must request a temporary order from […]

Posted inAppeals

Wisconsin family court appeal

The success of a Wisconsin family court appeal depends on the evidence submitted at the trial.   An appeal is not a “do-over.”   There is no new testimony or evidence.  The only information available to the appeals court is what was submitted at the trial.  The evidence and testimony is known as the “record.” Each party files a brief, based on the record.  The appeals court […]

Posted inChild custody

What is Wisconsin legal custody?

Parents often  confuse the concepts of Wisconsin legal custody with physical placement.    In Wisconsin, however, these two terms have very different meanings.  “Legal custody” allows a parent to make major decisions for a child, such as heath care, school and religious decisions.  An award of custody can  be  joint, sole, and impasse-breaking authority.   In sole custody, only one parent […]

Wisconsin grandparent visitation

The standard for Wisconsin grandparent visitation has recently been clarified in the case of Paternity of E.M.B. (available at  The Court of Appeals ruled that grandparents must overcome the parent’s Constitutional right to care for a child.  The child’s parent is presumed competent to know what is best for her child.  The parent’s decision whether to allow contact between the child and […]

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