Family Law

Divorce is an stressful process which wreaks havoc on your social, economic and family life. Not only does is affect you and your soon to be former spouse, but it affects your children as well. Although the period of getting a divorce is never an easy time for a client, Locke Law Office enjoys working with people going through a divorce. Men and women alike will have to refigure their households, retool their budgets and rethink their family traditions and celebrations. It sounds overwhelming, but having the right attorney can assist you in getting the job done well. If you are looking for an attorney to grind your soon to be former spouse into the dust, take the children away from him or her, and leave him or her lying in a crumpled heap in the dustbin, Locke Law Office is not the firm for you. Locke Law Office makes every effort to help its clients work out a fair economic arrangement with their soon to be ex-spouse, split up your personal property, or “stuff” and find a fair way to divide time with the children so they can benefit from spending as much time as possible with each of you and in a way that works for all of you. Sound like a tall order? You’re probably right. But, once our clients realize what a judge is likely to award to each spouse in the event their case goes to trial, typically we can assist them in crafting with a plan that each spouse can agree with.

Assets:

Half of all the assets you and your spouse acquired while you were married are generally awarded to each party. So, if you saved up and bought a house, each spouse is entitled to half the equity in the house. Also, each spouse is entitled to half of each of the retirement interests acquired by either of the spouses during a marriage.

Debts:

Debts go hand in hand with assets. While you and your spouse are acquiring assets in your marriage, often, you are racking up debt as well. For example, you may have bought a new car, but, unless you and your spouse are very careful with your money, you probably also have a loan or note, on the car. The same is true with your home: you may have saved and bought a house, but you probably also have a mortgage on that home. Aside from cars and houses, with debts associated with them, many couples also have unsecured debt, such as credit cards, which must be repaid. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, divorcing couples also need to share the debt they acquired during their marriage. Sometimes, this means that one spouse may be awarded more of the assets because he or she is taking responsibility for more of the debt. This has to be examined separately for each divorce case as each couple has a somewhat different set of circumstances.

Children:

Your children are the most important part of your divorce action. Who the children live with most of the time, when they spend time with the other parent, and who supports the children are all issues that need to be resolved. In a perfect world, we understand that each party in any divorce action would prefer to have the children live with him or her 99 percent of the time. Of course, the children might miss the other parent, but they’d adjust, right? NO. Current law in Wisconsin states that the children must see each of their parents as often as possible. How this plays out depends in part on each parent’s work schedule and who cared for the children historically during the marriage. Although the statutes don’t specifically say the children should spend equal time with each parent, it’s a good guess that most of the time, this is exactly what is going to happen. Even in cases where one spouse worked full time and the other spouse stayed home to care for the children, courts tend to divide the children equally between both parents at the time the parties separate. After all, at the time of a divorce, the stay at home parent typically needs to get a job and will be somewhat less available to care for the children. Courts are also called upon to set a holiday schedule so any arguments about where the children spend Christmas Eve are at least minimized. This is perhaps one of the hardest changes at the time of divorce, but each parent has to adjust to not spending all of every holiday with their children. Aside from deciding when and where the children spend their time, the courts are also going to be required to make provisions to ensure that the children are being supported. Historically, the statutes