Archives: Caselaw

Courts of Equity or Not?

Published: Wednesday, December 18th, 2002

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals intermittently tells us that it is primarily an error-correcting court. Recently, however, the court couldn’t resist the temptation to depart from that primary role to make a little new law, in Randy A.J. v. Norma I.J.,

Paternity and Arithmetic

Published: Wednesday, December 11th, 2002

A recent District II Court of Appeals case, recommended for publication, addressed the difficult issue of biological versus psychological parentage. In an interesting decision involving what the court of appeals called “an unusual factual situation scenario”, the court upheld the result reached by the trial court, but for entirely different reasons.

Pre-divorce Marital Pacts are Still Perplexing

Published: Wednesday, May 16th, 2001

Imagine calling to the witness stand the paramour of your client’s estranged spouse, in an attempt to prove that the spouse entered into a marital property agreement with a divorce in mind.

Washington Opens The Floodgates

Published: Tuesday, August 1st, 2000

As a result of June 7, 2000, a Supreme Court of Wisconsin case, Washington v. Washington, 2000 WI 47, trial courts now have the power to grant relief, even years after the judgment.

Court To Mull Cohabitation, Maintenance

Published: Wednesday, March 22nd, 2000

On Feb. 22, the high court granted review of the Court Appeals decision, to focus upon whether a court in a maintenance determination can consider a period of premarital cohabitation, and whether a professional degree is an asset for purposes of an unjust enrichment claim.

Guidance Needed for Grandparent’s Rights

Published: Wednesday, March 1st, 2000

Recently, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Troxel v. Granville, No. 99-138 (argued Jan. 12, 2000), involving the issue of grandparent visitation. While it remains unclear whether the Court’s opinion will have any significant impact in Wisconsin, the case involves issues of basic and significant societal concerns.

Marital Agreements

Published: Wednesday, October 13th, 1999

In family law, there are agreements and there are agreements. Some are merely recommendations to the court, while others are binding on the parties. The distinction is exemplified in three relatively recent court of appeals decisions.