March 29, 2013

Family Law: How to Establish Paternity

written by Lane Fitzgerald


We hear it often from our Beloit family law clients: fathering a child is among the most rewarding experiences of a person’s life. Becoming a father means joys and responsibilities you likely haven’t yet experienced prior to having a son or daughter.


But, unfortunately, this new world can potentially become disrupted for an unwed dad.


What happens if you’ve just become a father, but you’re not married? Where do you stand legally in the life of your child?


Family Law

March 21, 2013

Video: What To Do If You're Stopped For OWI or DUI

written by Lane Fitzgerald

Schedule a free consultation with Attorney Lane Fitzgerald by clicking here.


Video Transcript:


What Do I Do If I'm Pulled Over for Drunk Driving?


Well the best thing to do is of course, one, have a plan. Before we even get to the stop, have a plan if you go out drinking. I assure you a 50 dollar cab ride is a lot cheaper than any attorney you are going to hire if you get arrested, even if you didn't do anything wrong. So the best thing to do is have a plan.


If you do get pulled over, you do have a right to refuse to take what’s called, generally, a PBT. It’s a preliminary breath test it’s the breathalyzer that they’re going to ask you to blow into. You have a right not to take that.


Criminal Defense

March 14, 2013

Bankruptcy Law: Non-Dischargeable Debts or Claims

written by Lane Fitzgerald
Although known as a “debt-forgiveness bankruptcy,” filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy won’t wipe clean every form of debt you have.
Called “Non-Dischargeable Debts or Claims,” we’re always sure to clarify to our Beloit bankruptcy law clients which debts will be discharged with Chapter 7 and which debts will not.

What Are Non-Dischargeable Debts/Claims?

Following is a comprehensive list of all forms of debt that won’t be forgiven when filing Chapter 7:
  • Most taxes
  • Debts incurred by fraud or through false writings
  • Creditors that are not listed in the bankruptcy
  • Domestic support obligations such as child support or alimony
  • Fines and Penalties paid to a government unit
  • Student loans (except in cases of undue hardship)
Although this list is standard, if based in Beloit or surrounding areas, please speak to a Beloit bankruptcy attorney about how this list applies to you personally.
For example, although Non-Dischargeable Debts or Claims cannot be forgiven, there are other ways to address these debts.

Bankruptcy Law

March 08, 2013

Video: Filing For Bankruptcy Can Give You A Fresh Financial Start

written by Lane Fitzgerald

[Video Removed]


Bankruptcy Law

March 01, 2013

Family Law: Wisconsin Child Support – Beyond Guideline Support

written by Lane Fitzgerald
As a Beloit family law firm, it’s common for our clients to show concern for just how much child support they’ll be liable to pay following a divorce or separation. This concern is rarely expressed negatively: despite what happens between a couple, parents are almost always eager to adequately provide for their children.
But due to economic or financial factors, payers are understandably interested in balancing the need to provide for family while maintaining an adequate standard of living themselves.
Can you pay a lesser amount?
Yes, but only in certain circumstances. In Wisconsin, there are five scenarios in which payers may be eligible for a lesser payment.
Scenario 1: Serial Family Parent
If you are about to become liable to pay child support, but you already pay support for another child, you might be considered a ‘Serial-Family Parent.’
Under this alternative calculation, the current amount you pay will be subtracted from your available support income, thereby reducing the subsequent child support obligation.
Scenario 2: High Income Payers
If you earn a significant salary, you may be entitled to pay a reduced percentage of your gross income available for support.
To be eligible for a reduced payment percentage, you must earn at least $7,000/month or $84,000 per year.
Scenario 3: Low Income Payers
You may also qualify for reduced child support payments if you earn a modest salary. ‘Low income’ is determined based on the federal poverty guidelines -- if in southern Wisconsin, please speak with an experienced Beloit family law firm for assistance in determining eligibility.
Scenario 4: Two or More Children
If you’re in a situation in which you and your former spouse have two or more children, and you both have placement of at least one child each, it’s possible you may be eligible for reduced support.
Scenario 5: Shared Placement
One of the most common ways to reduce child support payment is to have shared placement. Shared placement occurs when a non-custodial parent has a child, or children, at least 92 days out of the year. If you are eligible, the State will use a specific formula to minimize child support payment.
Further Considerations
Aside from the scenarios as outlined above, it is still possible that the court will impute income and force a payor to pay greater support. It’s essential that you speak to a family law attorney to parse out the specifics. And, keep in mind, that any one or a combination of the above scenarios will be used to determine your child support obligation.
If you are seeking child support, or are being petitioned for child support payment, contact an experienced Beloit Family Law firm, The Fitzgerald Law Firm, today for a free consultation. We understand that meetings may not be possible during traditional business hours, so please let us know a time that works for you and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.

Family Law