Aplin & Ringsmuth

Legal Results with Lasting Impact

Madison 608-819-8408 • Waukesha 262-522-0660
Wausau 715-359-5034

Family Law

Aplin & Ringsmuth’s family law attorneys recognize that we are entrusted with representing our clients through one of the most difficult and stressful periods of their lives.  We seek to provide representation that gets our clients through this difficult time in an efficient and civil manner.  Often, this involves mediation or settlement of the underlying disputes.  However, we will also aggressively represent our clients’ interests in every case, and have the experience litigating family law matters that places our clients in a position to achieve their desired result.

Divorce is an emotional process, which is why our family law attorneys strive to provide clear guidance, effective advocacy and honest communication so you can get on with your life in a dignified and manageable way. Our attorneys are skilled at helping clients make the divorce process as civil and uncomplicated as possible, which can save both time and money – which is especially important in cases where child custody, child support and spousal support are also at issue. Wisconsin is a “no fault” divorce state. This means that the court process is not affected by the reasons you are getting divorced. Often the Judge in your divorce will not even allow testimony about bad conduct during your marriage. The basis that must be shown in court to entitle you to a divorce is whether your marriage is irretrievably broken; your testimony that this is the case will usually be enough to show this to the Judge’s satisfaction. This does not eliminate more complicated litigation in your divorce, but the issues that may be litigated do not include the “why” of your divorce. When necessary, our attorneys will be prepared to litigate issues in your divorce zealously. Whenever possible, however, they will assist you in resolving your marital differences without bitter conflict.

Our family law attorneys handle matters including, but not limited to: divorce; child support, placement and custody; spousal support; property division; and marital agreements.

The divorce process may include a number of issues such as:

Child Support

In Wisconsin the issue of child support in a divorce follows a fairly structured statutory process. The amount of child support paid is based upon a number of factors including the number of children, the amount of overnights the child/children spend with each parent and the gross income of each parent. Child support is generally governed by the Wisconsin Child Support Guidelines. The determination of the amount of support is usually a simple mathematical calculation after these factors are identified. When it comes to child support a few factors could complicate the issue. Besides child support, there are other expenses you may be responsible for such as financial assistance for health insurance, child care, doctor bills, dental bills and transportation.

Our office also handles:

  • Modifications
  • Injunctive Order
  • Establishing Paternity
  • Establishing Arrears

Spousal Support

If you are going through a divorce, spousal support may be one the legal issues to be considered. Some states call this “alimony,” but in Wisconsin, it is call “maintenance.” Unlike child support, Wisconsin does not have statutory guidelines which control how much, if any, spousal support may be paid. Generally, the Judge will look at the length of the marriage, the relative earning capacity of the parties, and a number of other statutory factors including: the age and physical and emotional health of the parties; the division of property made in the divorce; the educational level of each party at the time of marriage and at the time the action is commenced; the feasibility that the party seeking maintenance can become self-supporting at a standard of living reasonably comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage; the tax consequences to each party; and the contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other. If the issue of spousal support is raised and litigated in your divorce, it is important that evidence supporting your position is carefully assembled and presented. The attorneys at Aplin & Ringsmuth can help build a convincing case should this issue go to trial.

Maintenance can be awarded for a limited term, for a permanent term or for an indefinite term. Generally, the length of the marriage will have a significant impact on the possible term of maintenance. Long-term maintenance is based on numerous factors including but not limited to, the marital standard of living, ability, length of marriage and need.

Legal Separation

Legal separation is similar to divorce in Wisconsin. You file the same kind of legal papers, and you go through the legal process the same way you would for a divorce. You still go through the processes of:

  • Custody & placement
  • Child support
  • Maintenance
  • Property division

Situations where a legal separation might be preferable include when there is a problem meeting the six-month residency requirement in Wisconsin. A legal separation can be converted in to a divorce once residency is established. A legal separation does not terminate martial status, social security status, or, depending upon how the insurance policy is written, health insurance.

A legal separation can be simple or complicated depending on many factors. The attorneys at Aplin & Ringsmuth are up-to-date with the current laws, regulations, procedures and necessary documents to be filed with the Courts that apply to your legal issue. In some cases, a divorce may not be the appropriate legal process. Aplin & Ringsmuth also handles annulments and legal separations.

Family Law Attorneys