Family Law

Our Attorneys

Kate Avoles
Gary Bakke
Kyle Schaffer

Our family law team is available to assist you with any family law issues. Whether you need help with a divorce, custody or placement of your child, support or maintenance (Wisconsin’s term for alimony), our family law team offers experienced, confidential and professional assistance. Family issues are frequently contentious and emotionally charged. Our experience aids our clients in getting through a difficult period and building a base for a stable life.

Every individual and every family is unique. We tailor our services to your needs. You can expect that we will fully explain the law and your options, collect all the necessary facts, and fully represent your interests in settlement negotiations and trial, if that becomes necessary. Our team approach ensures prompt service and the best possible professional support.


Your divorce may involve issues regarding the value of property, the existence of debts, the future earning capacity of both spouses, and child custody, placement and visitation. In some circumstances, we confront disputes over business valuations and, on occasion, the right to move to a new location with children. We routinely deal with such issues and are prepared to guide you through any complex or difficult situation that may arise in your case.

In every divorce case, the court requires the parties to fully disclose their all of their assets and all of their liabilities to each other and to the court. Click here for a Financial Disclosure form.

Video | Dealing with Divorce in Wisconsin

Video | Should you Seek Legal Advice During a Divorce in Wisconsin?

For additional information about our divorce services, click here.

Child Custody and Placement

Child custody, placement and visitation issues are among the most difficult that any parent can face. The law requires courts to consider the best interests of the children above the wishes of each parent and may appoint an attorney (guardian ad litem) to represent your child or children. Our representation will focus on putting you in the best legal position to be an effective and loving parent.


Our family lawyers provide full-service representation throughout adoption proceedings. From document preparation to court hearings, we can handle all the intricacies of the adoption process.

Guardian ad litem

If there is a dispute about the legal custody or visitation of your child or children, our first priority is to negotiate a constructive settlement. If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement, the court will require that you work with a mediator to resolve your differences. If mediation is unsuccessful, the court will appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child’s best interest. We understand this process and provide professional support for our clients through this process.

Prenuptial agreements

A prenuptial agreement (an agreement before marriage) is not necessary for every engaged couple, but in some circumstances it is very valuable. These agreements are most often used for second marriages where there are children from the prior marriage or where there are substantial assets owned by one or both parties before marriage. A well-drafted premarital agreement can prevent misunderstandings and allow the parties to design their own financial future. The law imposes several technical and substantive requirements, in addition to normal contract rules. Expertise in drafting prenuptial agreements is essential to assure that the agreements are legally enforceable. We can work with you to design an agreement that meets your personal and financial needs.

Other Services

In addition to the services described above, we offer our extensive experience to assist with any family law-related matters including:

  • Contempt of court – prosecution and defense
  • Modification of child support
  • Modification of maintenance
  • Change in child custody
  • Change in child placement
  • Establishing paternity
  • Grandparent visitation
  • Termination of parental rights
  • Restraining orders and injunctions
  • Collaborative or cooperative divorce
  • Appeals of all types of family law matters

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