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330 East Kilbourn Avenue, Suite 1170
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP

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Milwaukee, WI divorce lawyer for pet ownershipBy Attorney Max Stephenson

Pet owners can be very attached to their animals, and a growing trend in the United States is to treat pets more like family than property. So, when a Wisconsin couple is facing divorce, the question naturally arises: “Who gets the pet?” When it comes to divorce, Wisconsin state law still considers pets as property, and therefore, they are included in the division of the couple’s assets and liabilities. This means legally, the pet is assigned to one or the other spouse, and since the pet is considered property, there are no court-sanctioned custody or visitation rights.

A 50/50 State

Wisconsin is considered a community property state, which means all marital property in a divorce (or legal separation or annulment) is divided 50/50 between the two partners. As stated above, this normally means the pet will be awarded to one or the other spouse. However, the 50/50 split excludes property that was given as a gift to either spouse separately or property that was inherited separately. Therefore, if the pet was a gift to one of the spouses or, for example, the pet was inherited from a parent, this might be grounds for the pet to be awarded to one spouse over the other.

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Milwaukee, WI LGBT divorce attorney

By Attorney Max Stephenson

While same-sex marriage has been legal for several years in Wisconsin and nationwide, some novel and difficult issues related to same-sex divorce continue to be considered by the courts. Those going through a same-sex divorce should be aware of these issues and the possible outcomes that may result.

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Milwaukee, WI divorce business valuation attorneyIf you are a business owner going through a divorce, it is critical that you understand the laws surrounding community property and asset division and how they relate to your company. For many people, a business is considered community property, which means that both spouses own the business under Wisconsin law. This is true even if only one spouse is involved in the business.

If a business will be classified as community property, it must be properly valued so that business assets can be divided during divorce. It is possible that the spouse who is more involved with the business will retain ownership, and the other spouse will receive different marital assets of an equal value.

The Business Valuation Process

The most common way for a business valuation to occur is to hire a forensic accountant to review business records and other material. Information that will be reviewed  includes:

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Milwaukee WI divorce child custody attorneyThere are numerous child custody concerns that need to be addressed as part of divorce proceedings. The resolution of these issues can have a huge influence on your children for years to come, so it is important to understand what a typical child custody proceeding entails.

Types of Custody

In Wisconsin, there are two types of custody, and both types must be negotiated or litigated during a divorce case. The first type is called legal custody, which refers to the right of a parent to decide major life decisions for their child. These determinations include where a child will go to school and attend church, as well as decisions about medical care issues. In many cases, a court will allow both parents to have a say in these decisions.

The second type of custody in Wisconsin is physical placement, which refers to where a child lives. This type of custody could be sole or joint. Even if one parent has sole custody, the other parent may have visitation rights as well as legal custody rights.

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Wisconsin high asset divorce attorneyProperty division is a component of any divorce, and in a high net worth divorce, this issue can be complex and hotly contested. Such divorces may require the assistance of forensic accountants to review voluminous financial documents and tax specialists to determine the tax costs and implications of dividing or transferring ownership of property.

Dividing Large and Complex Assets

It is usually accepted that a high net worth divorce involves liquid assets totaling more than $1 million. Those who fit this description often have a variety of businesses and accounts that have been created in order to take advantage of tax laws as well as to diversify assets.

In all cases of asset division, an attorney will first seek to identify what property is part of the marital estate. In Wisconsin, any property acquired or income earned by either spouse during the marriage is considered community property. 

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