Skip to main content

Mark F. Borns

Divorce and separation Attorney at Madison, WI

4.4   13 reviews
  • Licensed for 40 years
    State WI
    Acquired 1983
    Good Standing No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Mark

Learn Mark’s areas of practice.

I have been practicing in the area of family and divorce law for over 30 years.  There is one other lawyer in my office, Attorney Molly Fellenz, and two paralegals.  I have been working with the paralegal for over 25 years.    We almost always respond to all calls or e-mails within 24 hours.  Our number 1 goal is to work out fair and reasonable settlements.  However, if that is not possible, we are certainly prepared to litigate.  Especially if there are children, it is important not to have such an awful divorce that the parents are unable to speak to one another.  We can help protect gifted and inherited property.

Photos and videos


Borns Law Office, LLC
10 Odana Ct
Madison, WI, 53719-1109

Divorce lawyers nearby


4.4 / 5.0
  13 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Posted by anonymous | August 30, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Caring and Professional
Mark has walked with me through a very difficult divorce. He not only took care of the legal side of the proceedings, he also coached me in how to take the power away from bullies. His team is amazing. They always responded to my calls and emails promptly. I recommend Mark to anyone seeking legal counsel in divorce matters.
Posted by Janet | January 2, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Not His First Rodeo - Did a great job navigating my divorce
Who you choose as your divorce attorney is the decision that will have the greatest impact on the outcome, and I don't just mean financial, but also in terms of emotions, time, and relationship with your soon-to-be-ex. I am very glad I choose Mark Borns to represent me. He asks smart questions. He understands strategy. He knows when to push and when to push back. He listens well, and communicates clearly. My spouse and I were on the same page, but he had to wrangle with her attorney, who was a troublemaker type of attorney. He ran circles around this other attorney while gaining the respect of both me and my now ex-spouse. A few more things about Mark that I think are unusual but, at least in my case, good. He is NOT a nickel-and-dimer. Does he charge you for his time? Yes. But unlike my ex's attorney, he adds value each time he emails or talks to you. Again unlike my spouse's attorney, he has a great paralegal (Jenny) who more than once was able to answer my questions and keep the ball rolling and her lower rate. Mark and Jenny always appeared to be on the same page and communicated very well, so even when Mark was not always immediately available, I had confidence that Jenny could direct me appropriately and communicate with him promptly. And again, you don't realize how good your attorney is until your ex''s is terrible, but he let me run with a lot of the spreadsheets to save money while at the same time, my now ex's attorney was retyping things at $250/hour. Ridiculous. Mark is experienced in divorce so he knows all the emotional ups and downs that are inherent in the process, and the games that ex's and their attorneys play, and was able to help navigate me through these with empathy, professionalism, and logic. (Logic is a rate commodity while divorcing...) All in all, I am thankful that I had Mark on my team. He was the leader of the band and got both sides to the separation agreement.
Read less
Posted by Kasia | December 22, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Awesome Lawyer! Highly Recommend
If you are looking for someone who is willing to stand up and fight for you, then Mark Borns is your lawyer! Mark took my case 4 years ago and stepped right in and helped me sort through my ugly divorce. He continues to help me with my post divorce issues and I have been extremely happy with all that he has done for me and my son. He is a man of good character and knows what is the RIGHT thing to do! Mark and Jenny have been awesome and I am so grateful for them. I highly recommend Borns Law Office.
Read less
Posted by Kristin | September 17, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Glad He's On my Side
Mark has represented me in several complicated post-divorce matters, and I am very pleased with his approach and outcomes. Mark is a practical and reasoned professional -- he considers all solutions to issues to work in the client's best legal and financial interest. His breadth of expertise and years of experience give him insights that have helped me to feel grounded in my expectations, giving me the confidence to advocate for myself and my children. Mark has the respect of his peers and professionals involved in the family court system - it was very affirming to hear high praise for Mark's practice during conversations with a social worker, a family court mediation specialist and several other attorneys. Every interaction I've had with Mark and his staff has been positive and constructive, which makes me feel I am receiving excellent value for his services. Mark came highly recommended to me -- from the former spouse of one of his own clients! -- and I am very happy to have recommended him to several others.
Read less
Posted by John | September 9, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Professional and ethical......highly recommend
I have known Mark professionally for over 5 years through many child custody conflicts following a divorce. He is widely respected in his field by peers, which is something I have seen firsthand. While I feel unfortunate in the frequency of my legal issues, I couldn't ask for a better attorney to represent me! I have been awarded favorable outcomes every time to date and I wouldn't consider another attorney. Prior to working with Borns Law I worked with a different attorney that was in a large law firm downtown. While this too was a favorable outcome, I spent more money and had a very difficult time getting to speak to that attorney causing more anxiety and confusion with the process. Mark has taken my calls, answered my emails and seen me in person with a days notice when needed to prepare for upcoming legal proceedings. I also refer to Mark as the voice of reason. Legal issues, especially involving custody of a child are always stressful and cause significant anxiety but Mark maintains a very no nonsense approach and refrains from getting involved in the drama or antagonizing the other party which keeps things professional and above board. For this, I have referred many people to Mark for consultation over the years.
Read less
Posted by Paul | January 26, 2015
Experienced, efficient, effective, conscientious, and successful--the most outstanding representation!
Not all attorneys are snakes! Mark Borns is a good, knowledgeable, experienced, honest, and effective attorney. He let me know right from the outset that the process would be a long drawn-out affair (because he was familiar with the pour-gas-on-flames approach of the opposing counsel). Mark handled the situation with skill and a thoughtful strategy. The paralegal, Jenny, was outstanding as well. Her role is critical--providing a great sounding board for talking through strategy. The Borns Law Office team is effective, efficient, and in the end, they saved me thousands of dollars and major emotional headaches, due to their good counsel and successful negotiation(s). I like that I can sleep and night, and not feel bad about our approach. Borns Law is the best in the business.
Read less
Posted by anonymous | March 1, 2011
Madison's best divorce attorney
Mark Borns is a first-rate divorce attorney who is not only an expert in his field but a master of the divorce process who is able to think outside the box. Mark's creative approaches to problem-solving and conflict resolution enable parties to move forward in productive ways rather than unnecessarily wasting time and money. Mark has deep roots in Madison WI so he is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to knowing who to call on when the myriad of accounting, real estate, and tax issues surrounding divorce or separation inevitably arise. Not only does Mark's unmatched intellect and wealth of legal knowledge put him at the top of his field, Mark is easy-going, compassionate, and extremely responsive. Mark is a top-notch attorney who makes the unpleasant process of divorce or separation as humane and painless as possible. I wholeheartedly recommend Mark Borns without reservation.
Read less
Posted by Ronnie | February 28, 2011
Real Estate transaction and estate planning
My family has retained Mr. Borns for various legal matters since 1983, the most recent for estate plannning. Mr. Borns has always impressed us with his knowledge of the law, what questions to ask us, his thorough research, and his calm professional demeanor. Mr. Borns was always prompt in responding to our correspondence, and in any legal filings that needed to be done. We appreciated his no-nonsense approach to what he could do or couldn't do for us based on his experience with the law and the legal system.
Read less
Posted by Davin | February 25, 2011
One of the best
This is my second time working with Mark on child custody issues, and there is a reason I went back. Mark simply is one of the best lawyers in Madison when it comes to family court issues, and his reputation precedes him. In 2003/2004 he was my attorney when I split up with my ex, and did a great job for me then, and also helped guide me through the process, and helped me understand the nuances of why things typically turn out the way they do. At the time, my father advised me to find a cheaper lawyer, and I told him that when it comes to issues regarding my daughter, I only wanted the best lawyer I could find. I found that in Mark. When my ex wanted to re-start the custody/placement dispute recently, there was no question as to who I was going to call. The same conversation transpired with my father, with me once again ignoring his advice. I've inherited my family's frugality, but I'm smart enough to know that you save money every day in order to be able to afford the best when you need the best. In part due to the lack of a case on the part of my ex and her attorney, but also, I believe, due to Mark's outstanding reputation, and the quality of the representation he provided me, the motion to dismiss the case was granted before I even had to testify. Mark is not like every other attorney, and he may not carry himself or present himself to you as 'nicely' as you might like. Some attorneys are better at marketing themselves, or might be better at playing well with others--meaning their clients. At the end of the day, I have thick skin, and I also can check my ego at the door. I realize that Mark has years of experience that I don't have, and he has a reputation that speaks for itself. There were more moments 7-8 years ago when I felt like I wasn't being listened to, or that perhaps I needed to be handled with more of a 'kid gloves' approach, but I'm older now, and wiser. You hire a good lawyer because you want a good lawyer. How you 'feel' at the end of the day, or at the end of the case, shouldn't be your primary concern. I presume you hire a lawyer because you want to win your case. Mark is 2 for 2 in my eyes, in my cases, and that's simply perfect. If winning your case isn't that important to you, or if paying more money to a lawyer to have your ego coddled is very important to you, then Mark Borns might not be the best fit for you. If you have a primary goal of winning your case, and that's the most important criteria that you have, if Mark Borns practices law in your specialty--if he is willing to take you on as a client--you'd be very lucky to have him as your lawyer, and I don't think you'll regret it for a minute. Like I said, I can imagine other folks having negative things to say about him, but like all opinions, whether they be online reviews, or word of mouth, you have to take the review with a grain of salt, and see if the reviewer is simply foaming at the mouth because some folks do, or if they have a truly informed opinion, and have made the case for their review. Not all reviews should carry the same weight, so please be a careful customer when it comes to reading reviews. Not all reviews should carry the same weight if this reviewer or that reviewer is nothing like you. This advice is true for lawyers, or products on Feel free to ignore any bad reviews if the careful scrutiny of them indicates that perhaps the reviewer carries some, or all, of the blame for the bad review. Be an informed consumer, and know what you want from a lawyer. I can't say it enough, because I believe it strongly...if you want the best, then give Mark a call. Check your ego at the door, and hope that he has the time to take your case. I'm a repeat customer, and I think that says a lot. He's simply damn good at what he does.
Read less
Posted by John | October 9, 2009
Review of Mark Borns services related to divorce representation
Mark is a first class attorney who is able to see the big picture of a divorce process and slice the core items down to manageable and logical pieces. He is great at keeping matters from becoming too complex which simply make matters worse for all parties concerned. He is cordial and frank in his recomendation to take a different tact which a client may be attached too much to some part of the divorce process and needs to approach differently. When it comes time to take the needed tactics to protect his client from illogical or unfair tactics on the opposing side he is quickly able to shift gears and cover all the bases fast, direct, and with fair results. He also good at helping encouraging couples to try and discuss key issues to save time, hassle, and dollars for all. He has great contacts to pull in when needed such as an accountant with deep expertise in analyzing tax aspects from both sides and finding the best solution for both parties and making sure each party understand the risks and problems should they not heed his advice and head down their own path instead of joint path in the interrum before and after a divorce. Many, many people in divorce (and attorney) underestimate the taxt/income complexities and the need for top notch assistance in this area. Mark knows. Mark is efficient and his paralegal is very, very sharp and one step away from being an attorney in terms of her knowledge and skills. Great team I would highly recommend. Mark is easy to work with, listens well, offers solid advice, rsponds quickly, and is really able to think "outside the box" based o his experience and intellect as needed, and turn some research over to his clients as needed (and which is notof a legal nature which is his talent) to facilitate the entire process. Top attorney I would highly recommend.
Read less
Posted by anonymous | October 5, 2009
A trusted attorney
Attorney Borns assisted my partner and me with our home purchase and our wills. He has assisted my partner in business matters for many years. He listened and understood all of the issue involved, and his solutions were creative. He has
Posted by Chris | April 19, 2015
A terrible waste of hard earned money
When you are going through a divorce, it is a very difficult and painful time. You need someone who is a good listener, someone who responds to your concerns in a timely fashion, and, most importantly, someone who is a very able advocate on your behalf. MARK BORNS HAS NONE OF THOSE CHARACTERISTICS. During my divorce, he constantly had to be reminded of the issues which were a part of my divorce. During meetings with my ex-wife and her attorney, he consistently called her by a wrong name. During one very difficult session with a judge, Mr BORNS announced that he was not going to waste his time dealing with a particular issue because he didn't deem it to be important. PLEASE FIND ANOTHER ATTORNEY OTHER THAN MARK BORNS
Read less
Response from Mark Borns August 30, 2015
I wish I knew who posted this review. I have not had a client "Chris" in many years (other than one who is very happy with my services). None of these alleged facts are even remotely familiar. I suspect this to be a bogus review, perhaps from the spouse of a client I represented. There are lots of unhappy people going through divorces. We pride ourselves in helping people through this very difficult process.
Read less
Posted by Darrin | February 23, 2011
This attorney is not for you....
Very disappointed. I originally went with Mark based on what I had read about. However, throughout the divorce I found that emails became excessive due to his responses always being vague. I had to constantly ask for specifics and descriptions.. .Each e-mail is costly and they add up fast. I had to ask repeatedly for DeNovo hearing records..I requested a copy at least four to five times over several months... There was a quick $50 gone..My ex-wife supposedly worked at a hair salon and yet Mark never asked for pay stubs to validate. I did not feel that Mark really fought for me, but rather seemed to agree to whatever my ex-wife's attorney wanted. I found his posture too laid back. I was hoping for him to be more aggressive and fight to win. As a result, I contacted my wife at the time, and we came to an agreement in effort to stop the ridiculous legal fees. ....... There were other issues in which I feel Mark performed poorly. He just does not seem to care for you as a client... I had to contact the court and request a final copy of the MSA and divorce decree. I have withdrawn his services. Thank GOD..... I would suggest to anyone seeking divorce, research and understand processes and costs in detail. Really take the time to read all reviews before selecting an attorney. Based on my experience, if you want to be represented well, Mark is not the attorney for you. I suggest you look elsewhere. If you want vague billing, silly e-mails, always needing to follow up with him, huge stress, poor communication and what seems to be an endless bill for his legal fees...then Mark is the attorney for you.
Read less
Response from Mark Borns May 10, 2011
Sadly, this is not at all a fair assessment of what took place. The judge granted me a judgment for my fees. That pretty well sums up what happened. I wish I could have found a way to make this client happy, but apparently that was not possible.
View less reviews


  • Hourly Rates $ 175-295 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Attorney
  • Borns Law Office, LLC
  • 1983 - Present
  • Airport District Court Prosecutor
  • King County Prosecuting Attorney
  • 1982 - 1982


  • U Of Wisconsin
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1983
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1980

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Clay v. Curtis Clay
  • Appellate court ruled in my client's favor and reversed trial court


  • Collaborative Family Law Council of Wisconsin
  • Member
  • 2001 - Present
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Member
  • 1983 - Present
  • Western District Bar Association of Wisconsin
  • Member
  • 1983 - Present
  • Madison Election Advisory Committee
  • Member
  • 2011 - 2012
  • Dane County Bar Association
  • Board Member
  • 2002 - 2003
  • Office of Lawyer Regulation
  • Board member, investigator
  • 1997 - 2005
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2018
  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2016
  • Pro Bono Attorney of the Year
  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • 2010
  • Top Lawyer
  • Madison, Magazine
  • 2005
  • Top Lawyer
  • Madison Magazine
  • 2003
  • Distinguished Service Award
  • Dane County Bar Association
  • 2001
View all awards


Speaking Engagements

  • Noon Luncheon
  • Child Support
  • 2014
  • Various events
  • Family Law Issues
  • 2005

Attorney endorsements

Received (9)
Given (3)
Endorse Mark
Family Attorney | Apr 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Smart, personable and a highly competent, longtime paralegal makes for great client service."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Apr 13
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I heartily endorse this lawyer! Over a period of twelve years, I’ve had the pleasure to work with Mark on many cases involving mutual clients. I was so impressed that I hired him to help me with my own post-divorce matters. He’s a life-saver. Mark is proactive and really goes to bat for his clients. At the same time, he’s strategic, meticulous and no-nonsense. His fees are super-reasonable, too. And, all of this is no secret to his peers—Mark is widely regarded as one of the top divorce and separation attorneys in Wisconsin. I highly recommend Mark."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Mar 08
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mark is a smart lawyer who cares about his clients. He's a strong advocate but still listens to his clients and understands what they need."
Litigation Attorney | Feb 10
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. I knew Mark many years ago when we were in college at UW Madison. Several years ago, I referred a close relative to Mark for a litigation matter. Mark did an outstanding job and successfully resolved the matter. He is an excellent attorney."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Mark. He is a highly skilled attorney that is well respected in the legal community."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Apr 29
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Jun 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have worked with Mark as opposing counsel in divorces and he served as Guardian ad Litem for the minor child in one of my cases; I have also worked with him on bankruptcy cases and in cases involving simultaneous bankruptcy and divorce. He is a competetnt, caring, and conscientious advocate for his clients."
Family Attorney | May 09
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mark is an aggressive advocate who is respected by his peers in the Dane County legal community."
Family Attorney | Oct 05
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mark is an excellent family law attorney. I have referred all of my clients to him in the past several years since I gave up my family law practice. I can say firsthand that he has taken care of those referrals with skill, competence and compassion. I consider Mark to be one of the top family law litigators in Madison."
View more endorsements
Estate planning
Personal injury
Estate planning
Madison Divorce and separation Lawyer Mark F. Borns
Mark F. Borns
Divorce and separation Attorney
Madison, WI
Licensed for 40 years