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The Law Offices of John P. Savage
1551 N Prospect Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Phone: 414-964-5670
Toll Free: 414-964-5670
Milwaukee Law Office

Tips for Those Considering Divorce in Wisconsin

ADVICE FROM JOHN SAVAGE & THE DIVORCE LAW CENTER:

DEPARTING THE HOME:

If you leave the marital home, you should take absolutely everything that you cannot replace in the future. By this I don't mean TV s and couches, but I do mean your personal items, things you received as gifts from your family, memorabilia, etc. If your mother's wedding picture is important to you, you better take it with you on the way out. You may never get back in. Your spouse will say "you took it with you" and you know you don't have it, but you will never be able to prove otherwise. TAKE IT WITH YOU ON THE WAY OUT.

MEDICAL INSURANCE:

If your spouse provides medical insurance for you, you have rights to continue that insurance under a Federal law called COBRA. You will have to pay the premiums after the divorce and it only lasts for a certain number of months but it is better than nothing at all. Generally, insurance is kept in place during the divorce but after the divorce you are off your spouse's insurance unless you have applied for COBRA benefits. You must do this through your spouse's Human Resource department and you must make the initial contact and get the forms before the divorce. If you sit around after the divorce and a certain amount of time passes, you will never be able to get this insurance and could be stuck with some serious bills.

CUSTODY AND PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN:

If the children's living arrangements are an issue (we now call it physical placement) you must keep an independent record of where the children are at all times. This has a direct impact on child support. The mere fact that the children spend 12 hours of time with Mom and 12 hours of time with Dad does not automatically mean there is no child support. If the parties have substantially different incomes, the higher earning party will be paying something to the lower earning party.

CHANGING BENEFICIARIES:

After the divorce, unless restricted by the Judgment of Divorce saying that you must retain your ex-spouse as a beneficiary on your pension, life insurance, etc., you have the obligation of changing beneficiaries on these policies. Most typically, minor children are retained as beneficiaries on life insurance policies (you can set up a trust for the benefit of your minor children - see your insurance agent about that). Barring some other requirement of the Judgment of Divorce, if you are awarded an insurance policy or pension, you get the right to re-designate the beneficiary. If you leave your ex-spouse as beneficiary after the divorce and you die, your ex-spouse will inherit the benefit. Some pensions don't allow re-designation of survivorships after retirement or the commencement of benefits. You have to check that with your Human Resource department or insurance agent. Check these items before the divorce.


Based in Milwaukee, the attorney and staff at the Divorce Law Center serve clients throughout Southeast Wisconsin, including Milwaukee, Waukesha, New Berlin, Brookfield, Racine, West Allis, Whitefish Bay, Greenfield, Greendale, Mequon, Cedarburg, Port Washington, Delafield, Germantown, Menomonee Falls, Pewaukee, Milwaukee County, Waukesha County, Washington County, and Ozaukee County.