– from Arthur R. in Vernon, WI

Question Details:

My wife and I filed for a divorce eight years ago. The judge initially gave a property settlement to her in the sum of $5,000. However it was never finalized as we decided to try and make our marriage work again. This past year, we filed for divorce one more time. My wife spent the sum from the initial property settlement. The court again ordered me to pay my wife a property settlement and this time for $7,000. I want to appeal this because no reason was given as to why another settlement was needed and why it was higher than the last time. Do I have a potential case?

Family Law Attorney Response:

My initial thoughts say there is a potential appeals case here, but I need a few more details to be completely certain. While the trial court may use their discretion and choose to make an order it wishes, it is still necessary for the trial court to have a reason.

In the case Thorpe v. Thorpe 108 Wis.2d 189, 321 N.W.2d 237 (1982), the Wisconsin Supreme Court decided that family support and division of property can be overturned if an abuse of discretion occurred. If and when a trial court fails to explain it’s reasoning for a particular result, the result is reversible and the court of appeals can come to a reasonable award.

I hope this answer helps you. If you want to file an appeal, give me a call with more details so we can discuss the next step.

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

Managing Partner

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