Divorce

Attorney Jody L. Usow is an experienced family law attorney, providing expert guidance for individuals negotiating the issues surrounding divorce or legal separation, including property rights, child-support, placement and child custody.

Effective negotiation of divorce cases requires skill and experience. 

While the best outcomes are almost always achieved through a fair settlement of all issues out of court, to achieve this you have to be prepared to litigate in court. 

Whether you have major assets and high net-worth or are on a tight budget -- whether you have four children or none -- whether you seek a collaborative settlement or face a high-conflict divorce -- a capable litigator makes all the difference because effective negotiation is central to case management and favorable outcomes.

In your case Attorney Usow's approach is driven by your needs. Attorney Usow will discuss your situation, listen to your concerns, explain all of your options under Wisconsin law and then work with your spouse or your spouse's attorney, to effectively negotiate a fair settlement. If agreement cannot reached on some or all issues, Attorney Usow will then represent you in court.

Attorney Jody L. Usow is an experienced litigator, divorce lawyer and skillful negotiator advocating for both men’s rights and women’s rights. 

To discuss your legal rights and all of the options available to you in a Divorce matter, contact Attorney Jody Usow at (414) 961-9500.

 

Attorney Usow's Divorce Practice includes:

  • Divorce
  • Legal Separation
  • Child Support
  • Child Custody
  • Child Placement
  • Maintenance (Alimony)
  • Section 71 payments
  • Division of Pensions and Retirement Accounts by Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO's).
  • Division of Assets, including the valuation of real estate and closely-held corporations.

 

Child Support

Child Support is a central theme in family law because financial issues are so often at the forefront of family disputes. Chiild support is calculated based upon a combination of factors including how many children are involved, how many overnights of placement the children have with each parent and what the parent's respective incomes are.

Bringing an action for child support.
Once a child support action is commenced, both parties will be required to provide Financial Disclosure Statements and the process will often involve one or more court appearances, requesting proof of income and in many cases, requesting interrogatories or depositions to confirm the current facts. As a result, the process itself can be expensive, so it is important to establish priorities before starting such an action. 

Effective negotiation is at the heart of family law.
Because child support issues often arouse other longstanding sources of animosity between the parties, child support actions can become contentious, requiring a balanced approach. In order to effectively resolve child support issues between parents a skilled attorney can make all the difference in bringing an unwilling spouse or parent to the negotiating table, either with the threat of litigation or through litigation itself. If you have struggled to negotiate with your ex-spouse or a difficult parent, we may be able to help.

Attorney Jody Usow is an experienced child support and family support lawyer and skillful negotiator.

To discuss your legal rights and all of the options available to you in a child custody and/or child placement matter, contact Attorney Jody Usow at (414) 961-9500.

Useful Child Support Concepts

Guardian ad-Litem

Attorney Jody Usow is an experienced Guardian ad Litem. Guardians ad Litem are not privately retained and are instead appointed directly by the courts. In family law cases, such as divorce and paternity cases, Guardians ad Litem are appointed to act in the best interests of minor children, they do NOT represent either parent.

As part of the process, the Guardian ad Litem will typically interview the minor children and the parents, and communicate with other interested or influential individuals, such as teachers, counselors, therapists, psychologists or psychiatrists. These interviews and conversations are conducted privately so that the Guardian ad Litem can independently determine the living situation and other conditions that affect the minor children in their care. 

Attorney Jody Usow has been appointed as a Guardian ad Litem  in hundreds of cases in the Milwaukee and Waukesha County Circuit Courts throughout her career. As a result she has extensive experience in dealing with children in difficult circumstances, including those alleged to have faced physical, sexual and emotional abuse. 

 

Maintenance

Maintenance, also known as Spousal Support or Alimony, is a monthly support payment that, in some circumstances, one spouse pays to another as part of the property division terms in a divorce.

These payments are most common in cases where there is a significant disparity in the earnings history and potential between spouses; however, there are numerous factors that are taken into consideration before such arrangements are either imposed or accepted by the court.

These factors include the length of the marriage and the earnings history of both parties along with other factors like health status and education. However, it is up to the court to decide whether the factors under consideration are properly taken into account.

Effective negotiation is at the heart of family law.
In order to effectively resolve spousal support issues a skilled attorney can make all the difference. If you have struggled to negotiate maintenance with your spouse, we may be able to help.

Attorney Jody Usow is an experienced maintenance lawyer and skillful negotiator.

To discuss your legal rights and all of the options available to you in a spousal support  matter, contact Attorney Jody Usow at (414) 961-9500.

Useful Maintenance Concepts

Restraining Orders

Restraining Orders are generally civil matters handled through the Family Court Division at most county courthouses.


A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) can be obtained in many different situations; however, the majority involve parties in existing or past relationships, such as domestic incidents or disputes between family members or ex-lovers. 


Restraining Orders, whether or not they include allegations of domestic abuse, are a serious matter, not only because they potentially involve the personal safety of one or more parties, but because they also impact the reputation of the defendant.


Additionally, an increasing number of family law actions arise from or involve allegations of domestic abuse. Effective representation in domestic abuse cases can therefore play an important role in negotiating other related actions, such as a divorce or child custody action. Once a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) is in place, it can become a central theme in an opposing party's claims that you should be denied placement and other parental rights, for example. 


Unlike many other legal matters, if you are the victim of domestic abuse or the victim of an unfounded allegation of domestic abuse, there is usually less time to proceed than in many other legal procedures. This is in part because, in the Wisconsin Circuit Courts, there is a limited period of time in which to request an appeal (de novo review) of a restraining order once it has been initially granted and also because there are practical limitations in alleging domestic abuse if significant time has passed after the alleged incident.


Restraining Orders have serious long-term implications. Even if a Restraining Order is not awarded, in many cases the case itself, along with the defendant's name, may remain a matter of permanent public record. Among other things, a defendant's ability to gain or maintain employment can be severely affected as a result.


Whether you are seeking or defending a Restraining Order it is important that you get guidance from a lawyer as early as possible.


Attorney Jody Usow has significant experience representing parties on both sides of Restraining Order and domestic abuse cases.


To discuss your legal rights and all of the options available to you in a Restraining Order or domestic abuse matter, contact Attorney Jody Usow at (414) 961-9500.

 

Paternity

The trend is clear, in the United States an increasing number of families do not center around marriage. In these situations an adjudication of paternity is necessary to establish the relationship between the parents and the child in law. The rights of each parent and of each child flow from this adjudication.

Attorney Jody Usow will assist you throughout the process of establishing and enforcing paternity, including child-support, child custody, placement and related issues.

If you are not receiving the child-support you deserve or you're not seeing your child on a regular basis because the other parent is withholding or interfering with placement and decision-making, contact our office to discuss your legal rights and all of the options available to you. Keep in mind that once paternity has been adjudicated, a number of paternity-related issues can be settled without court appearances—although this is always a possibility.

Attorney Jody L. Usow is an experienced Paternity lawyer and skillful negotiator advocating for both men’s rights and women’s rights.

To discuss your legal rights and all of the options available to you in a Paternity matter, contact Attorney Jody Usow at (414) 961-9500.

 

Child Custody and Placement

Child Custody, Placement (and Child-Support) are at the heart of family law. The vast majority of divorce and paternity cases, including post-divorce and post-paternity, involve these issues.

Child custody and placement are also some of the most contentious issues between parents and require skillful and effective negotiation.

Communication is at the heart of family law. In most cases, disputes over child custody and placement are deeply affected by emotional undercurrents. If these issues are not dealt with directly they can continue to plague the parents and children for years on end, both in court and out-of-court. In many cases counseling, mediation and evaluation of the children and the family group are the most productive ways to resolve these issues.

However, in order to effectively resolve custody and placement disputes a skilled attorney can make all the difference in bringing an unwilling spouse or parent to the negotiating table, either with the threat of litigation or through litigation itself. If you have struggled to negotiate with your ex-spouse or a difficult parent, we we may be able to help.

Attorney Jody Usow is an experienced child custody and child placement lawyer and skillful negotiator advocating for both men’s rights and women’s rights.

To discuss your legal rights and all of the options available to you in a child custody and/or child placement matter, contact Attorney Jody Usow at (414) 961-9500.

Useful Child Custody and Placement Concepts