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David S. Kowalski
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David Kowalski’s Answers

263 total


  • How would splitting these expenses work?

    My ex and I split costs 50% for our children as ordered by our divorce decree. Lately, he has been suggesting (what I consider to be) unnecessary expenses and medical treatments just for the purpose of costing me money. The most recent example i...

    David’s Answer

    First step is to consult your court orders, since there may be language in them that would address this issue. Whether there is or not, you may wish to ask the judge to modify the order to clarify how expenses are incurred and paid. I suggest that you consult with a child custody lawyer.

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  • Can my ex give his wife power of attorney over kids if we share joint custody

    ex is in jail and he had placement of kids but we share joint custody

    David’s Answer

    Agreed. Whether you should ask the judge to modify the joint custody arrangement may depend on why and for how long he is in jail. If the new wife is exercising custodial authority, you may want to speak to the school, medical providers, etc. to ensure she does not make decisions for your child. I suggest you consult with a child custody lawyer.

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  • Chances of Modifying Agreement?

    Back in Sept. I regrettably signed the custody agreement for our now 3 year old daughter. Things are worse than ever and its noticeably affecting her. My ex drinks heavily, belittles me in front of her which she tells me about, refuses to take her...

    David’s Answer

    I agree with the other posters in a broad sense. However, the 2-year prohibition of modification applies only after the initial order. If the September order was not the first custody order, the standard is much lower. Regardless, there may be enough here to indicate harm to the children, particularly if alcohol is involved. Finally, you may be able to modify the schedule in a limited sense, or perhaps impose conditions on placement to ensure the children's safety. I suggest that you speak with a child custody lawyer.

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  • Can my ex refuse doctor's visits so injuries on her placement days are not documented?

    Within the last few weeks, every time that my kids come back from my ex's house, they've got some sort of new injury. One of them even required an emergency room visit while in her care (and that's the second emergency room visit while an inciden...

    David’s Answer

    If you believe the child is injured, then take him/her to the doctor. If you have joint custody for medical decisions, you both have the authority to arrange for medical care. Regardless, if you have a custody order, there is usually a statement indicating that you have the authority to arrange for necessary care while the child is with you.

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  • If you have lived with someone (in the state of Wisconsin) for 10 years, and then split how is property split?

    not married, together for 10 years, lives in Wisconsin, buying a house, her name isn't on purchase...does she qualify to receive any portion if you split?

    David’s Answer

    Not according to divorce or marital property law. f you do not marry But there could be a claim for unjust enrichment, etc. in the future depending on how you structure your finances. Perhaps you could draft a contract setting out your expectations. An experienced divorce lawyer could assist with that.

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  • My Ex wants me to agree to 50/50 custody & placement but agrees to have an everyother weekend schedule. is he trying to avoid CS

    Does 50/50 placement without a 50/50 schedule reduce the amount of child support he would have to pay?

    David’s Answer

    I understand your question to be that the father wants to put a 50/50 agreement on paper, but the actual placement would be alternating weekends. I highly recommend against submitting such an order to the judge, since it is basically a deception. I also question why you would agree to that, except so that he could avoid child support. I strongly recommend that you discuss this matter with a child custody lawyer.

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  • Do i need to file a motion ? What is the differance between motion and trial ?

    I am on h-4, husband filed a divorce. I gave response asking marriage counseling, he refused. I submitted my FDS and a letter describing i still not get my belongings back yet, and not agreed with proposed MSA.requesting more time to get belonging...

    David’s Answer

    Depending on the extent of the issues, you may also consider the option of mediation. A skilled objective mediator can help you resolve issues without formal legal representation. If that is unsuccessful, you can then consider a trial before a judge.

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  • Can you do most of the divorce w/o lawyers and the child custody parts with a lawyer?

    My husband and I can agree on everything except child support and time. He would like them 50/50 but I know they need more of a routine than that. He has never taken care of them alone.

    David’s Answer

    Yes. You can create a separate agreement on limited issues. However, before doing so, I encourage you to consult with a divorce lawyer. Support, property, custody, etc. are all interconnected in various ways. Consulting with a divorce lawyer is wise to ensure you enter into any agreement with full understanding.

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  • Do i have to consider my wife's edited FDS ?

    I filed a divorce in dane county in 12 feb ,2015. My wife sent me her signed FDS through non lisenced attorney via email. And than later on she (by her self)add few things in the FDS and submited to court at the end of 120 days, and send me the co...

    David’s Answer

    The FDS is only one spouse's statement/opinion of the available assets and their values. Your FDS should list the assets as you believe is accurate. If you believe that the FDS is inaccurate, then you should point that out to the judge when making your argument. I also point out that the FDS does not indicate how the assets should be divided. You should create a separate document with your proposed allocation.

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  • I am unmarried and have a 4 month old baby, should I file for sole custody so the father can't try for custody in the future

    father is not on the birth certificate and pays no child support, never holds a job for more than a few months, and is not involved in my life, but he sometimes threatens to try to get custody, I just want to make sure I always have full custody

    David’s Answer

    I agree with the other posters. It is up to the father to file a paternity motion to secure his parental rights. However, if you receive any type of public assistance, the state agency will eventually file a petition to establish his fatherhood so child support can be collected. At that point, I recommend that you consult with a child custody lawyer.

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