Does a Wisconsin court have jurisdiction over tribal land? | Sterling Law Offices, S.C. global $post;
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– from Angela B. in Kewaskum, WI

Question Details:

My husband and I are Native American. We are beginning the first stages of our divorce. Our home is within the boundaries of a reservation. My question is: when it comes to property division, does the court have the authority to assign ownership of our home on a reservation?

Family Law Attorney Response:

This question is best answered by citing a similar case. Remember that your case will be decided on the basis of its individual circumstances. This is only an example illustrating one possible outcome.

In the case of Jacobs v. Jacobs 138 Wis. 2d 19, 405 N.W.2d 668 (Ct. App. 1987), a couple began their divorce proceedings. The trial court excluded the land, but valued the home and awarded it to the wife. Upon appeal, the court decided that the trial court did not have the jurisdiction to make such an award.

So it is unlikely that the court can include the home in property division, but I would advise you to contact an experienced family law attorney right away to discuss the details of your case.

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


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