Retainers are funds the attorney works against and are held in trust. They bill at an hourly rate. If the hourly billing is less than what is held in trust the balance is returned to the client upon termination or withdrawal.
Some attorneys do not like to have less in retainer than the whole case will take, others will set their retainer on a normal 45-60 days billing cycle, and ask for more if necessary. The good news there is that the initial retainer is lower but the badnews is that...
This is a "it depends" answer...
The Wisconsin State Registrar is the group to ask this question to. You can find them by looking up Wisconsin Vital Records Office (608) 266-1373. Ask them how they would want you to proceed. I would expect that they will send you back to the County Clerk (who gives out marriage licenses). It shouldn't be different in each county, but I bet it is. These folks do kind of make this up as they go along. They will first call the Registrar themselves,...
If you were granted the right to change your name in your last divorce decree, then you can do it at any time just give the judgment of divorce to whoever controls the document you want to change your name on (i.e. Dept of Motor Vehicles).
If you were not then you have to file for a name change with the clerk of court in the county you live in.
After you hire counsel, he will likely contact the DA and see if the no contact can be adjusted to deal with the housing problem. Previos counsel is correct that family court will generate a temporary order if you have a divorce pending, but if not then you need to focus where the order was generated that is causing the problem.
Meanwhile you probably need to protect the money in any account you have money in. Talk to your attorney first thing about that before it is too late to do so.
You do not have an obligation to have him involved in your life, or the birthing. You have a right to your privacy and the right to not be harassed. You might start by calling the police, and ask for a desk officer. Describe to him what is going on and ask him what they might do for you. My guess is they will call him and ask him to leave you alone.
In the meantime, you should consider seeking a free consultation with a local attorney. If the police don't get him to leave you...
My experience regarding grandparent's right is that the court will only treat them as a party if they can show that they have had a parental role with these children. Without that the court will not intervene with the parents decisions to include the grandparents or not.
Any one other than the parents do not have visitation rights. The parents can not without being present delegate placement periods without the permission of the other parent.
Certainly these are up to the judge, so...
A joint petition for divorce does not limit your ability to disagree with anything or litigate anything at dispute in the divorce. LOTS of people file jointly, and then stop agreeing right after wards. What the only real difference is... 1) there is no requirement for initial personal service of the filed documents. and 2) that both parties are asking for the EXACT SAME result/ruling from the court. That does not mean they agree on the little details. Just the big picture.
I have to agree there is more specific details that would be required to focus in on your concerns.
But... Might I suggest that you look into the WI Family Act.
The Family Act allows creditors to obtain payment for necessary expenses for anyone living under the roof. These would apply to Doctor bills and any kind of medical treatment. It also has other uses. So, beware.
This cannot be a divorce in Wisconsin because you were never married.
You can try to sue under unjust enrichment, or breatch of contract. But that assumes these were not gifts. For if they were gifts then you had no expectation of repayment. That would be bad.
Bad would mean you have no case.