Can I be forced to make property division payments in Wisconsin? | Sterling Law Offices, S.C. global $post;
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 – from Juan C. in Wauwatosa, WI

Question Details:

My wife and I are going through a divorce and the judge ordered me to pay $7,000 by way of division of the estate. I am currently unemployed and have been for six months. I paid half of the division but cannot survive on my own if I pay for any more. My ex-wife brought multiple motions against me as I failed to pay and follow the court order. The judge put me in contempt and found I must pay the remainder of the division. Is there any way I can avoid this?

Family Law Attorney Response:

Some more detail regarding your case is crucial to better understand your situation.

A judge can find a person in contempt and force them to make the payments (although it is difficult if they do not find any information proving you can make the payments) however the court must be placing you in the correct contempt.
In the case Schroeder v. Schroeder, 100 Wis.2d 625, 302 N.W.2d 475 (1981) the circuit court place a husband in criminal contempt instead of civil contempt during a civil case. Due to this mistake, the husband was released and relieved of paying the remainder of the division property.

More details that would be necessary to know if the court put you in the correct contempt include the reasons why you were put in contempt, what the order was and if you were sent to jail, how long and for why.

Give me a call so we can further discuss these crucial details and see what direction to go.

Lawyer Jeff Hughes from Sterling Law Offices, S.C.
Jeff Hughes, J.D.

Managing Partner

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