When your marriage ends through divorce, you face an emotional time filled with many questions. How long does it take to get a divorce? What happens to my kids? What if my spouse and I own a business together? At Murphy Johnson & Trampe S.C., we take a comprehensive approach to divorce that allows us to answer all of these questions and more for you. We deal with property division, child custody, alimony and all other divorce issues at the same time, and provide you with personal attention from the lawyer who will handle your case from start to finish.

Racine Legal Separation Attorney

In Wisconsin, it is especially important to have the help of an attorney as you go through a divorce. Wisconsin is one of only nine states that is considered a community or marital property state. Because of this unique approach to marital property, you should have the help of an attorney to make sure that you receive the assets you are entitled to in a divorce. Other issues that we frequently discuss with our divorce clients include:
  • No fault divorce
  • Maintenance (also known as spousal support or alimony)
  • Section 71 payments
  • Child custody
  • Child placement
  • Child support
  • Property division (division of assets)
  • Legal separation
  • Uncontested divorce
  • Inheritances

Business and High Asset Divorce

When you have a high net worth, or when you or your spouse own a business, you face a more complex divorce than usual. There are many other things that must be taken into account, such as business valuations and tax consequences of a divorce. Our dedicated legal team works closely with experts in the business community (i.e. accountants, financial analysts, appraisers, etc.) to help you get through all the intricate procedures surrounding a high asset divorce.
We will assist you throughout the entire adoption process, helping you complete all the necessary documentation to formally adopt a child and be your advocate in all hearings or proceedings. We handle both domestic and stepparent adoptions, including voluntary or involuntary termination of parental rights.

Initial Pleadings

To initiate a divorce in the state of Wisconsin one party known as the Petitioner (or both parties together if the parties wish to file a joint Petition) needs to obtain the initial divorce pleadings. These documents can be much more complex than individuals initially expect because the Petitioner needs to clearly identify what they are requesting in their prayor for relief. The Petitioner needs to know what to ask for based on the circumstances of their particular divorce. Therefore, our attorneys often draft these initial pleadings for the Petitioner.

The individual that receives the divorce pleadings is called the Respondent. The Respondent has his or her own obligations to the Court. The Respondent must file a response and has a limited time to answer. The Respondent must know how to respond to the Petitioner’s requests.

Divorce Time Line

Divorce in the state of Wisconsin has a mandatory waiting period of 120 days before the court will allow you to finalize the process. You will therefore not likely resolve your divorce for at least 6 months. This 6-month time line is realistic in cases where there are limited issues between the parties.

The Divorce process will start with a Temporary Order Hearing, wherein the Court will address issues of Custody, Placement, Child Support, Maintenance, Property Division, and Debt Payments. This initial hearing is handled by the Family Court Commissioner and the Orders made by the Court are temporary. This hearing is to set rules for the parties to follow while they are awaiting their final Trial or Stipulated Divorce hearing.

After the Temporary Order Hearing, most counties have a pre-trial where the Court seeks to determine what the issues are and set a time line for settlement or Trial.

The parties may settle outside of Court and to do so they must create a Marital Settlement Agreement or Divorce Contract. Both parties generally must appear at the final divorce hearing, even if there is a stipulated agreement, to testify to the Court regarding agreements made. If the parties cannot come to agreed upon terms, they must attend a Contested Divorce Hearing or Divorce Trial. Trial can be costly and emotionally damaging to both parties. Your Attorney will do their best to negotiate appropriate terms prior to Trial, but if they are unable to do so they will vehemently represent you at trial.

Children in Divorce

The Court only has jurisdiction over minor children (under the age of 18- or 18 years of age but still in high school). The Court will not make decisions or orders regarding adult children.