Healthy Placement Arrangements

In recent years, it has become more common for divorced parents to each have substantial overnight care and placement of their marital children. The older model of the children just seeing dad every other weekend is becoming less common. Therefore, both mothers and fathers in a divorce should be shifting their expectations about placement arrangements to more of a shared parenting arrangement. Even if the parents can’t get along with each other, they should each realistically assess what placement arrangement is in their children’s best interests, and that is often a more equally divided amount of time with each parent. The lawyers at Wassel, Harvey & Schuk, LLP can help you determine realistic goals for your specific case, then achieve those goals.

This blog entry was prepared by Steven C. Harvey, partner, Wassel, Harvey & Schuk, LLP. It does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute legal authority.

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Child’s Best Interest

If you have ever been involved in a physical placement dispute, then you are familiar with the term child’s best interest. Child’s best interest is a simple concept which guides the court’s decisions when it comes to which parent gets how much placement (time) with the child. Section 767.41(5) instructs that when applying this concept, the court shall also consider several other factors. Some of the more measurable factors include the wishes of the parties, the wishes of the child, the interaction and interrelationship of the child with the parents and other family members, and the amount and quality of times each parent spends with the child.
Other more difficult to assess, but no less important, factors include the child’s adjustment to the home, school, religion and community, the age-based developmental and educational needs of the child, the mental or physical health of the child, the child’s intellectual, physical, or emotional well-being, the cooperation and communication between the parties, and whether each party can support the other party’s relationship with the child.

This second set of factors is where many parents get tripped up. Involving the court in your family is extremely stressful and frustrating, to help get the physical placement you feel you are entitled to requires that you understand the needs of your child and that you can demonstrate that you can give them what they need. The court easily recognizes when a parent is more concerned about their own needs, and will typically rule accordingly. The courts want to reward the selfless. This does not require you to become a martyr, just that you know your child’s best interests. Get to know your children. Celebrate their successes and accomplishments. And have the courage to help them with deficiencies.

This blog entry was prepared by Nathan M. Jurowski, Wassel, Harvey & Schuk, LLP. It does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute legal authority.

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Landlords and Act 143

With the help of attorneys for landlords, Wisconsin legislatures have been drafting a new law to fix some of the issues created with the April 2012 legislation (Act 143).  This new law has been passed out of committee and is now before the State Senate.

This bill will have many changes that should make life for landlords a little easier.  Specifically, the ability to evict tenants for the commission of crimes, while continuing to protect victims of those crimes.  Stay tuned for more information.

If you need an attorney to assist you with a money judgment case, please feel free to contact this office at 262.728.0700 to further discuss your circumstances.

This blog entry was prepared by Brian A. Schuk, partner, Wassel, Harvey & Schuk, LLP.  It does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute legal authority.

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Change in Small Claims

Effective July 1, 2011, the Wisconsin legislature raised the jurisdictional limit for actions that may be handled through the small claims court, from $5,000 to $10,000.

Previously, any cause of action for a money judgment greater than $5,000 against a person had to be filed before the circuit court, rather than the small claims court.  Over the years, inflation raised the cost of living, but the jurisdictional limit remained at $5,000.  As a result, a greater proportion of cases had to be filed in the circuit court.  This had two negative effects.

1. Actions in circuit court are much more formalized, requiring more time, money and effort to proceed with a claim.  Small claims court has a more relaxed set of procedural rules, which makes small claims court much more economical to utilize as a judicial tool whenever possible.  Many cases that were more appropriate for the simplified procedures of small claims court had to go to circuit court instead.

2. Because of the higher costs associated with circuit court cases, people had the difficult choice of spending extra money to prosecute a relatively small claim through the circuit court, not prosecuting the claim at all, or bringing the claim in small claims court, but being limited to only recovering $5,000, when their case might be worth more.  The decision on how to proceed was particularly difficult when the amount of a person’s claim was only slightly more than the $5,000 small claims limit.  As a result, people were not filing valid causes of action, choosing to limit their recovery to $5,000 for the sake of speed and simplicity, or were forced to spend extra time and effort to recover on claims with low values, which defendants often used to their strategic advantage.

Now that the small claims court jurisdictional limit has been raised from $5,000 to $10,000, a substantially greater number of cases can be handled using the more efficient and convenient procedures of the small claims court.  For example, small personal injury cases, which could easily accumulate $2,000 to $4,000 in medical bills, can often now be handled far more quickly.  Small business disputes, claims by or against contractors, commercial landlord/tenancy cases, minor traffic accidents, and many other types of money judgment cases can now be filed using the simplified procedures of the small claims court, rather than the more complicated procedures for large claims court.

If you need an attorney to assist you with a money judgment case, please feel free to contact this office at 262.728.0700 to further discuss your circumstances.

This blog entry was prepared by Steven C. Harvey, partner, Wassel, Harvey & Schuk, LLP.  It does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute legal authority.

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Coming Soon!

Coming Soon!

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