A Property Division Lawyer Dedicated to Protecting Your Assets
Attorney John Anthony Ward has been handling all aspects of family law matters for over 30 years, including dividing assets during the divorce process. Wisconsin is a community property state that requires all assets and debts be divided as equally as possible. As your property division lawyer, Mr. Ward can guide you and your spouse towards an agreement or provide strong representation in contested divorces. His practice is based in Kenosha, WI, and he can assist clients throughout Wisconsin and Illinois. Use our online form or call (262) 842-5162 to schedule a consultation and learn more about the firm's services.
Separate vs. Marital Property
The court will only consider dividing communal marital property as part of the divorce, making the distinction between marital property and separate property crucial. The court assumes that each individual owns an interest in all property acquired by either spouse during marriage, unless otherwise proven. In other words, you must show that any given asset is personal separate property and therefore, not eligible to be divided with your spouse.
Property division is usually not straightforward. Since your financial future is at stake, having legal representation is almost always advisable.
Separate property may include money or property:
- Acquired as a gift
- Owned prior to marriage that was never commingled
- Recovered from a personal injury claim
- Obtained through inheritance
Alternatively, marital property is all property not deemed separate property, including:
- Each spouse’s income
- Pensions or retirement plans
- Bonuses and other earnings
- Real estate, vehicles, and appliances
- Professional practices or small businesses
How Assets Are Divided
Wisconsin is considered a community property state, meaning that marital property is divided by the courts. Property division is generally split 50/50 between the divorcing spouses, although it may sometimes be a 55-45 or 40-60 allocation. Some determinants that can result in an unequal property division include:
- The Length of the Marriage: The longer the marriage, the more likely you will have a 50-50 allocation of assets.
- A Disparity in Income Capacity: One spouse may have higher earning potential, usually due to their education and job history, which can affect the balance of property division.
- Custody of Children: The spouse that has born a larger responsibility of child care may be awarded a greater share of marital assets.
- Age & Health: If one partner is considerably older, or in poor health, factors come into play regarding working ability, earning power, and eligibility for retirement and health benefits.
- Size of Community Property: Courts may be more likely to order an equal property division for larger estates.
It is important for clients to remember that debts, as well as assets, will be divided between the two parties.
Why You Need a Lawyer
Marital property division is usually not simple or straightforward. Since these cases are complex, and your financial future is at stake, having legal representation is almost always advisable. Mr. Ward can help couples come to an agreement, or provide aggressive representation to protect assets if the proceedings do not remain amicable. An experienced family law attorney like Mr. Ward can unearth all assets and related facts to ensure you receive an advantageous property division allotment.
Learn More about Property Division Today
If you have filed or are about to file for divorce, you need a skilled attorney at your side. Contact Mr. Ward today to learn more about how he can safeguard your interests during property division and help with child custody issues. Call us at (262) 842-5162, or leave us a message online.
"Mr. Ward and his professional team proceeded tenaciously to build a strong case in my favor. His in-depth knowledge of the law resulted in my twelve year old felony becoming just a misdemeanor. Mr. Ward is the third attorney to work on my case, but the only one who achieved positive results."Emily Rogers