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Untitled---2023-10-09T125050.731.jpgFor any couple who is going through a divorce, one of the key issues that needs to be addressed is property and asset division. This is one of the primary financial concerns that will affect spouses. Decisions about property division will determine the financial resources available to each spouse, in consideration of establishing new living arrangements, covering bills and expenses, and addressing other needs. When contemplating issues related to property, spouses will need to understand the community property laws in Wisconsin and the factors a court considers when determining division of marital assets. An experienced divorce lawyer can provide guidance on how the laws may be applied in a specific situation. They can help negotiate a property settlement and address other related legal concerns.

Understanding Property Division Laws in Wisconsin

Wisconsin recognizes marital assets as “marital property.”, This means that property acquired by either spouse during  the marriage is jointly owned, and each spouse has an equal claim to the assets they own.

The first step in determining how property should be divided will involve identifying which assets are considered part of the marital estate. Generally, any assets acquired during the marriage are classified as marital property and are subject to division. This includes real estate properties, vehicles, bank accounts, retirement funds, investments, business interests, and personal belongings.


Untitled---2023-10-09T105623.160.jpgIn a divorce, the division of assets is often one of the most contentious issues. All of the property a couple owns will need to be considered, and there needs to be a determination on who will be responsible for paying the debts the couple owes. As couples take steps to gain an understanding of their financial position, and make decisions about how assets and debts will be divided, one spouse may find that the other has wasted or destroyed assets. This can significantly impact the other spouse’s financial well-being, leaving them with limited resources or debts that need to be repaid. 

When one spouse takes actions that reduce the value of the marital estate, this is known as “dissipation of assets.” It is important for spouses to understand how this issue will be addressed in a Wisconsin divorce. To make sure assets can be valued correctly, and that asset dissipation will be considered when dividing assets and debts, it is important to work with an attorney who has a strong understanding of these issues and who has experience helping clients address and resolve financial issues during the divorce process.

Dissipation of Assets Under Wisconsin Law

Under Wisconsin law (Wis. Stat. § 767.63), assets that have been dissipated are known as “disposed assets,” and they may be considered during the property division process. This law states that any asset valued at $500 or more and that was removed from the marital estate within one year prior to the initiation of a divorce should be considered when dividing marital property. If property was sold to someone for less than its actual value, given away, wasted, destroyed, or is otherwise unaccounted for, it will need to be addressed when determining the full value of the marital estate. A spouse who committed dissipation may be responsible for the amount by which the total value of marital property was reduced.


When Can an Employee Be Charged with Embezzlement?

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att-nicole_20231003-191409_1.jpgBy Attorneys Jason Luczak and Nicole Masnica

Embezzlement is a serious white collar crime that involves the misappropriation or theft of funds entrusted to someone's care. This offense can refer to situations where an employee is accused of stealing money or assets from their employer. In Wisconsin, embezzlement accusations can lead to charges of theft or other criminal offenses. Those who have been accused of embezzlement can work with an attorney to determine their best options for defense.

Criminal Charges for Employee Embezzlement

When an employee is accused of embezzlement, several types of criminal charges may be brought against them. The specific charges that may apply will depend on the circumstances of the alleged offense and the amount of money or the value of property that was allegedly stolen or misappropriated. Although Wisconsin does not explicitly name embezzlement as a crime in its statutes, some charges that may be related to embezzlement include:


Untitled---2023-09-26T093820.599.jpgIf you have been arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) in Wisconsin, it is important to understand the state's implied consent law and how it can impact your case. Under this law, drivers are required to submit to chemical testing if they are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and they may face consequences if they refuse to do so. For anyone who has been arrested for drunk driving, it is crucial to secure legal representation from an attorney who can help defend against OWI charges and address license suspensions or other penalties related to chemical blood alcohol tests.

What Is Implied Consent?

Implied consent refers to the legal principle that drivers automatically give their consent to submit to chemical testing from a police officer, if suspected of drunk driving, by obtaining a driver’s license and operating a motor vehicle on public roads. In other words, when you get behind the wheel in Wisconsin, you implicitly agree to comply with requests from law enforcement officers for blood, breath, or urine testing.

The purpose of implied consent laws is twofold. First, they aim to deter drunk driving by creating a legal obligation for drivers to cooperate with chemical testing. Second, they provide authorities with evidence necessary for prosecuting OWI offenses. However, it is important to understand that implied consent laws apply to tests administered to analyze breath, blood, and urine samples performed after you are arrested. Therefore, you are not required to take a roadside breathalyzer test or perform field sobriety tests during a traffic stop, but you will be required to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test after an officer has arrested you and taken you to a police station.


9 Steps to Take When Preparing for Divorce

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Untitled---2023-09-19T093454.714.jpgGetting a divorce can be a complex, difficult process. The strong emotions involved with the end of a marriage can be hard enough on their own, but they can be especially difficult when paired with financial issues and practical considerations related to living arrangements and parenting. Being prepared to address divorce-related issues can help make this process easier. If you are considering divorce in Wisconsin, it is important to understand the steps you can take to protect your interests as you prepare to separate from your spouse and dissolve your marriage. A skilled attorney can help you determine the best approach to take during your case. 

As you prepare for divorce, you will want to:

Gather Important Documents

Before initiating the divorce process, it is important to gather all relevant financial documents such as bank statements, tax returns, pay stubs, mortgage information, credit card statements, and investment account statements. These documents will be crucial during property division negotiations.


Untitled---2023-09-19T095410.819.jpgLitigation involving an alleged breach of contract can be complex. When one party fails to fulfill their obligations as outlined in a contract, this can lead to disputes, and the other party may take legal action to enforce the contract’s terms. For those who are involved in civil litigation related to contract disputes in Wisconsin, it is important to understand the options that may be available. An experienced attorney can provide legal representation in these cases, ensuring that issues related to contracts will be handled correctly. Depending on the specific facts of a case, available remedies for a breach of contract may include:

1. Specific Performance

In some breach of contract cases, the court may order the party who breached the contract to fulfill their obligations as originally agreed upon. Specific performance is typically granted when monetary damages would not adequately compensate the non-breaching party for the losses they suffered due to the breach or when the breaching party has the ability to fulfill the contract’s terms.

2. Monetary Damages

The most common outcome when one party has been found to be in breach of contract is an award of damages that will be paid by the breaching party to the non-breaching party. There are different types of monetary damages that may be awarded:


Is Arson a Felony Offense in Wisconsin?

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Untitled---2023-09-11T120146.932.jpgArson is a serious crime that involves intentionally setting fire to property. In the state of Wisconsin, arson is a felony offense. The severity of the charges and the potential penalties will depend on factors such as the extent of damage caused, whether there were any injuries or fatalities, and the intent behind the act. Anyone who has been accused of arson, property crimes, violent offenses, or other types of crimes can determine how to protect their rights by working with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

What Is Arson Under Wisconsin Law?

In Wisconsin, arson is defined under Chapter 943 of the state statutes. According to Section 943.02, a person commits arson if they intentionally damage a building through the use of fire or an explosion without the owner’s consent. The law also covers other forms of arson, including using a fire to damage personal property valued at over $100 (Section 943.03) and setting a fire with the intent to commit fraud against an insurance company (Section 943.04).

Felony Arson Charges and Penalties

In Wisconsin, arson involving intentional destruction to a building is generally classified as a Class C felony offense due to its serious nature and the potential harm it can cause. The penalties for a Class C felony conviction includes a jail sentence of up to 40 years and fines of up to $100,000. If someone was injured due to arson, other criminal charges may also apply.


Untitled---2023-09-01T124330.869.jpgIn Wisconsin, child custody cases can often be complex and emotionally charged. Parents will frequently encounter disputes over sharing custody of their children, including how they will make decisions about important issues. In some cases, a parent may believe that they should have sole custody of their children rather than sharing custody with the other parent. It is important to understand when sole custody may be considered as a viable option by the courts. A parent who is planning to seek sole custody can work with an attorney to determine how to address these issues.

What Is Sole Custody?

In Wisconsin, legal custody refers to the ability of a parent to make major decisions regarding the child, such as where the child will go to school, what doctor they will see, whether they can get a driver’s license, or what religion (if any) they might practice. Wisconsin statutes separately define physical placement, which involves how often a child will reside with one or both parents. Sole legal custody typically refers to a situation in which one parent has the  responsibility for making major decisions.. The parent with sole legal custody will generally have the right to make all major decisions about the child's upbringing without consulting with or obtaining consent from the other parent.

The Best Interests of the Child

Decisions regarding legal custody are always based on what is in the best interests of the child. In Wisconsin, it is typically presumed that joint legal custody is in the best interest of the child, unless an analysis of various factors leads the court to determine that granting sole legal custody serves the best interest of the child..


Untitled---2023-09-01T122134.850.jpgAuto theft is a criminal offense that involves illegally taking or operating someone else's vehicle without their consent. In the state of Wisconsin, auto theft is usually charged as a felony offense, and it can lead to serious penalties for those who are convicted of this crime. If you or someone you know has been charged with auto theft in Milwaukee or other parts of Wisconsin, an experienced lawyer can help you understand the potential consequences and your options for defense.

Operating a Vehicle Without the Owner’s Consent

Under Wisconsin law, it is illegal to drive or operate a motor vehicle without receiving consent from the vehicle’s owner. A person who is accused of taking a vehicle and driving it without permission may face Class H felony charges for a first offense and Class F felony charges for a second offense. Taking and driving a commercial motor vehicle without consent may result in Class G felony charges.

A person who is convicted of a Class H felony related to auto theft may be sentenced to up to six years in prison and may be required to pay a fine of up to $10,000. A Class F felony conviction for a second offense may lead to a sentence of up to 12.5 years and a maximum fine of $25,000. A Class G felony conviction for theft of a commercial vehicle can include a sentence of up to 10 years and a maximum $25,000 fine.


Untitled---2023-08-23T133347.695.jpgDuring the divorce process, there are numerous complex issues that will need to be addressed. While this is true in any divorce, the financial matters that will need to be addressed in a high net worth divorce can be especially complicated and challenging to resolve. Spousal support is one of the key issues that may arise in these cases. To determine the role that spousal support may play in a high asset divorce, it is important to work with an experienced attorney.

How Spousal Support Is Addressed in a Wisconsin Divorce

Spousal support, which may also be referred to as maintenance or alimony, consists of payments made by a person to their ex-spouse after the couple’s divorce. In Wisconsin, spousal support is not automatically awarded in every divorce case. Instead, the need for maintenance will be determined based on several factors outlined in state law. These factors include:

  • The length of the marriage - In general, spousal support is more likely to be awarded in longer marriages, but it may be appropriate in shorter marriages as well based on the circumstances and needs of the parties.

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