Attorney Kathleen Reiley, S. C., Milwaukee WI Divorce Family Law Lawyer Custody Support Paternity Mediation Collaborative Divorce Litigation

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Wisconsin Family Law

Family law is a very special area of Wisconsin's legislative body of laws. Broadly speaking, it helps families structure their lives, raise their children and protect their assets. Divorce is one area of Wisconsin's family law. If you are considering a divorce, it may help to know that Attorney Kathy Reiley has helped many couples resolve their indifferences in a manner that allows them to move on with their own lives. Many of Attorney Reiley's clients feel as though she helps them move from one chapter of their lives to another with a sense of peace, regardless of the trials involved in the divorce.

Why Hire A Family Lawyer?

People confer with family law attorneys for a variety of reasons including mediation, divorce litigation, collaborative-style divorce process, cooperative divorce, cohabitant disputes, divorce, grandparent visitation, paternity issues, and child support and family support. In essence, family law encompasses a vast body of law that affects personal relationships, financial rights and obligation. A family law attorney actually possesses a doctor's degree in law, so you might say that a family lawyer helps you to protect your legal health by providing you with sound legal advice and helping you to pursue the right legal avenues just as a medical doctor helps you to protect your medical health by providing you with sound medical advice and helping you pursue the right medical tests and prescriptions.

Contested -vs.- Uncontested

Divorces are sometimes referred to as "contested" or "uncontested". The couple in a divorce action have conflicting interests since they are dividing up limited assets, debt that may have been manageable for two united, but not two separated, and wanting more time with their children than a couple can have when they no longer reside together. When the union ends, each person must be mindful of his or her own interests. Consequently, a petition for divorce is a petition to dissolve the union, and from the moment it is filed, the union is no longer considered being in a position to look out for the best interests of each person. A divorce then is contested until such time that an agreement is formed to resolve all of the issues at hand.

Litigated, Collaborative, Cooperative

Another comparison between divorce types that is often made is to identify the divorce as "litigated" or "collaborative or cooperative". While associations exist to unite family law attorneys in a collective body of collaborative attorneys or cooperative attorneys, the reality is that family law attorneys can collaborate with their clients on all matters regarding the divorce action because that is what the law requires family law attorneys to do, and they need not be a member of any particular organization. It is the best case scenario when parties and their attorneys can work cooperatively to partake in the exchange of information to which both parties are entitled anyway, and the resolution of issues raised by the divorce.

The Collaborative process is a process that is designed to movet he parties and their attorneys into a team collaboration with other professionals in the team to guide the family to the best solution for that family's needs. The collaborative process is a contracted, specific process that makes room for creative resolution to various issues facing the family.

Alimony -vs.- Spousal Support -vs.- Family Support

The terms "alimony" and "spousal support" are sometimes used to refer to the support paid by one spouse to another spouse. However, the word "alimony" does not appear in Wisconsin Statutes. Wisconsin laws recognize three types of support: child support, family support, or maintenance. It is also possible to agree to Section 71 payments. Big changes will happen after December 31, 2018 to the tax impact of paying or receiving maintenance, family support or Section 71 Payments. If you currently pay or receive any of these payments, you may want to consult with your family law attorney for advice on how those changes impact you and your family.


Divorce is the term used to describe the process of dissolving the bonds of marriage. In order for the laws of the state of Wisconsin to apply to a divorce matter, one or both of the spouses must be legal residents of the state of Wisconsin. Attorney Kathleen Reiley limits her divorce practice to the state of Wisconsin. For more information about the counties where she appears most frequently, please refer to Wisconsin divorce or geographic focus of the law practice of Attorney Kathleen Reiley.


Mediation is a process through which people can discuss their disputed issues. It is a legal process mediated by an attorney. In some situations, the parties are permitted to have their private attorney present during the mediation, while in other situations, the parties cannot be, or are not, represented at the mediation. For more information about mediation and how you can use this effective alternative, please contact Attorney Kathleen Reiley. For general non-legal advice, you can visit mediation, mediation for domestic partner disputes, dispute resolution or mediation for same sex relationships.


Adjudication of paternity is the process of determining that a man is the father of a child in order to establish the paternity, legal custody, physical placement and support of the child with an enforceable judgment as the end result. Paternity adjudication is sometimes referred to as a paternity action or paternity suit. The need for a paternity adjudication can arise whether the couple is married and divorcing or unmarried, whether they are in cohabitation or separated. Wisconsin statutes need to catch up with same sex parents being adjudicated the parent of non-marital children.

Wisconsin Statutes have not caught up on parentage or a child who is the child of same sex parties. There are a number of issues that arise for these childrena nd their parents that need to be resolved to give the same rights other children have to these children and their parents.


While the terms "custody" and "visitation" are often used in general conversations and readily interchanged, legal custody of a child refers to the legal obligations of making decisions about a minor child, the rights a parent and child have, and obligations parents have and physical placement refers to the actual placement of a child into the home of one or both parents. For more information about custody, please visit legal placement or physical placement.


Child support is the financial support paid by one parent to the other parent for the financial support of the parents' child. Alimony is called "maintenance" under Wisconsin laws. In some instances, a court orders child support payments to be made to a non-parent, such as when a grandparent or a foster home has been granted physical custody of a child. For more information about support, please visit child support or family support.

Grandparent's Rights

Grandparents have rights, too, and many grandparents have sought the legal advice of Attorney Reiley when seeking to establish their rights to visitation of their grandchildren. For many years, Attorney Kathleen Reiley has been helping grandparents obtain the court's order to ensure their ability to maintain a close relationship with their grandchild. Attorney Kathleen Reiley limits her practice to the state of Wisconsin, so in these types of legal matters a non-parent or parent over the matter of the child's custody or placement must be in Wisconsin. For more information, please visit grandparent's visitation rights.

Attorney Kathy Reiley - Family Law & Divorce Lawyer

If you are considering a divorce, require assistance with the legal disputes between you and your domestic partner, want to obtain legal custody or physical placement of your child, want to invoke your rights as a grandparent to visit with your grandchild, need to pursue a paternity order, or want to speak with an attorney for legal advice on mediation or how the laws of the state of Wisconsin will affect you, please call Attorney Kathleen Reiley (414-369-6309) or email Attorney Kathleen Reiley.

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