Tag: Waukesha Wisconsin divorce lawyer

Questions to Ask During Your Initial Consultation With a Divorce Lawyer

If you are scheduled for an initial consolation with a divorce lawyer, it is a good idea to think about questions you may want to ask. You will likely want information regarding their experience, a general sense of how your case will be handled, and what fees you can expect. First, let’s consider the attorney’s experience and what questions you may have:

  • Does the attorney handle the type of divorce you are seeking? Are you looking for divorce mediation services, a collaborative divorce, or a more traditional divorce? Perhaps you and your spouse have hammered out an agreement you only wish to have reviewed. Your attorney should have experience in the type of divorce you hope to enter into – many will be happy to provide a referral if they do not offer the services you seek.
  • Has the attorney handled cases involving child custody disputes, spousal support, business valuation, or whatever issue is your major concern? Divorce can be simple or complex depending on whether children are involved, if there is a family business or substantial property to be divided – you will want an attorney that has experience handling issues that are relevant to your case.
  • Ask the attorney how many divorce cases they have handled and whether those cases went to trial or settled beforehand. A skilled negotiator can often help you reach a fair settlement, but it is also advantageous to have an attorney that has experience in the courtroom, and the judges who may hear your case, in the event you and your spouse cannot agree.
  • Does the lawyer know the opposing attorney and are they able to work well together? When trying to reach a settlement, it is helpful if the attorneys representing the spouses are able to communicate effectively so if there is a problem, you should know.

When you are seeking legal representation for a divorce, finding an attorney with experience and knowledge is important. Preparing questions in advance of your consultation will help you to decide if the attorney has the experience to handle your case. Please see our Wisconsin family law blog posts regarding questions to ask regarding what you can expect in a divorce case and questions regarding fees before hiring a divorce attorney.

Probst Law Offices has decades of experience specializing in all areas of Wisconsin family law, including divorce, divorce mediation, collaborative divorce, child custody, spousal support, property division, guardianship and termination of parental rights and we will answer your divorce questions. To set-up your free initial consultation, give us a call at 414-210-3135 or email us.

What Questions Should I Ask About Fees When Hiring a Divorce Lawyer

If you are considering divorce, it is important to understand how attorney billing and miscellaneous fees are handled before hiring an attorney. It is a good idea to ask questions about fees when hiring a divorce lawyer at your initial consultation so you know what you can expect if you hire the attorney.

  • What is the billing rate? Attorneys typically bill by the hour, so you will want to ask what their billing rate is and that of the associate (if any) assigned to your case. Ask what is the minimum unit of time the attorney bills at and if phone calls are billed.
  • Do I need a retainer? Typically a firm will ask for a retainer, a lump sum, which they will deduct charges from as the case progresses. Ask if a retainer is required and how much it is? Ask what happens when the retainer is depleted.
  • Can my spouse pick up the tab? One question that many clients ask is if the attorney can collect fees from their spouse – ask your attorney about options in this regard.
  • What other fees can I expect? Ask about any extra fees you can expect beyond the attorney’s fees such as court costs, process servers, expert witnesses, photocopies, stenographers and more. Ask if the fees are paid in advance or as you go. An experienced attorney will be able to provide you a ballpark figure on various miscellaneous fees you may incur in your case so you have a general idea of what you can expect.

It is important to understand attorney fees and other costs associated with getting a divorce. Preparing a few questions in advance of your initial consultation regarding the potential costs along with questions pertaining to the attorney’s family law experience and what you can expect from your case will help you make an informed decision when seeking a Wisconsin divorce attorney. For a free initial consultation, give us a call at 414-210-3135 or an email.

Divorce and Family Business Valuation

Divorce and Family Business ValueMany couples in the U.S. are small business owners. If you and your spouse are considering divorce, figuring out what to do with the family business requires careful consideration.

If you and your spouse have a good working relationship and can put aside your differences, one option is to continue to own the business together. This allows both spouses to hold on to their respective interest in the business.

Sometimes the prospect of continuing a business relationship with an ex is not feasible. Another option for divorcing couples that share a business is to buy-out the other spouse’s interest. If this is an option you and your spouse are considering, it is important to have an experienced business appraiser conduct a business valuation of the company so that a fair market value or fair value can be determined.  Either spouse can then purchase the other’s half if they are able to raise the funds or use other assets in exchange.

If neither spouse wishes to continue with the business after a divorce, they may decide to sell the business to a third party. In this case, following the valuation, you and your spouse can sell the business and split the proceeds. This often requires continuing your business relationship for a period of time while the business is on the market.

Divorce and a Family Business

Because a divorce will certainly impact a business, married couples can benefit by thinking ahead. Before starting a business, it is a good idea to consider a prenuptial agreement, shareholder agreement or a buy-sell agreement to prevent a legal battle over the value of the assets if you divorce.

Hire an Experienced Divorce Lawyer

If you are considering a divorce and have a family business, it is important to work with an experienced complex divorce lawyer to ensure that your interests are being served. A skilled negotiator can help you obtain a favorable outcome when dividing marital assets while reducing expensive legal fees.

Business Valuation in a Divorce

If you or your spouse decide to buy the other’s interest in the business or sell the business outright, your divorce attorney can help you obtain a reputable business appraiser to perform a business valuation. If possible, it is recommended that you and your spouse agree to hire only one business valuation firm to be able to save on expenses. Following a valuation, your attorney can help you interpret the valuation so that you can make an informed decision on the disposition of the business.

Running a Family Business After Divorce

Beyond the legal proceedings, divorce can have lasting effects on the business if one or both spouses decide to keep the business going. Thoughtful consideration should be given to a change in the financial situation following a divorce. If one spouse is buying the business from the other, certainly the loss of a business partner will change how you run the business. For couples who decide to continue running a business after they divorce, consider how your roles in the company may need to change to ensure your continued success.

Contact an Experienced Family Business Valuation Divorce Attorney

If you are considering a divorce and own a family business, contact an experienced Wisconsin business valuation divorce attorney for answers to your questions regarding the division of marital assets with a small business. Contact us online or call today at 414-210-3135.

Wisconsin Spousal Maintenance

Alimony is referred to as spousal maintenance in Wisconsin. It is a payment one spouse makes to the other to reduce the financial hardship one may experience in a divorce.

When making a Wisconsin spousal maintenance determination, Wisconsin courts will look at various factors to decide the amount and duration of payments to be awarded. Among the factors considered are:

  • the education level and earning capacity of each spouse and whether one spouse contributed to the education or earning power of the other
  • the requesting spouse’s work history, training, and skills along with their time spent away from the work force
  • what responsibility the requesting spouse will have for the care of the children moving forward
  • the time needed for the requesting spouse to get the additional education or training so that they can find employment and whether with such employment will allow the requesting spouse to achieve similar standard of living as enjoyed in the marriage

Other factors will likely include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The division of property
  • Each spouse’s age
  • The physical and emotional health of both parties
  • The ability of each spouse to work
  • Any other factor that is relevant to the requesting spouse’s need for maintenance and the ohter spouse’s ability to pay

Contact an Experienced Wisconsin Spousal Maintenance Attorney

If you are considering divorce, have questions regarding spousal maintenance or you are divorced and have a change income, contact an experienced Wisconsin spousal support and post divorce modification attorney at Law Offices of Jane Probst for more information.  Jane Probst’s guiding principle is to do what is in her client’s best interests. Jane will work closely with you to find the best solution for your situation. Favorable outcomes can be reached through negotiation, or if needed, through litigation. Since 1990 Probst law firm focused solely on Wisconsin Family Law. We offer free and confidential consultations. Call (414) 210-3135 to speak with an experienced spousal maintenance attorney.

Marital Property Division | Waukesha Wisconsin Divorce Lawyers

During marriage, couples accumulate many assets such as cars, homes, investments and more. If you are considering a Wisconsin divorce, you may have questions regarding how your assets will be divided between you and your spouse.

Wisconsin is a community property state, which means that property purchased with income earned during the marriage is considered marital property. When couples divorce, this property is divided equally between spouses.

When courts divide property, it is typically a matter of adding up the total value of the marital estate and granting each spouse a percentage. Although Wisconsin law implies a 50-50 split, a judge strives to make the division fair, so he or she may deviate from an equal distribution of assets after considering various factors such as:

  • The property each spouse brought into the marriage
  • The amount of non-marital assets/separate property involved, which may include property acquired before the marriage such as inheritance, gifts, material items, etc. However, keep in mind that some separate property items may become community property in circumstances where co-mingled funds were used to maintain the separate property, such as a house.

Continue reading “Marital Property Division | Waukesha Wisconsin Divorce Lawyers”