Racine Divorce/Legal Separation Attorney

When your marriage ends through divorce, you face an emotional time filled with many questions. How long does it take to get a divorce? What happens to my kids? What if my spouse and I own a business together? At Murphy Johnson & Trampe S.C., we take a comprehensive approach to divorce that allows us to answer all of these questions and more for you.

We deal with property division, child custody, alimony and all other divorce issues at the same time, and provide you with personal attention from the lawyer who will handle your case from start to finish.

In Wisconsin, it is especially important to have the help of an attorney as you go through a divorce. Wisconsin is one of only nine states that is considered a community or marital property state. Because of this unique approach to marital property, you should have the help of an attorney to make sure that you receive the assets you are entitled to in a divorce. Other issues that we frequently discuss with our divorce clients include:

  • No-fault divorce
  • Maintenance (also known as spousal support or alimony)
  • Child custody
  • Child placement
  • Child support
  • Property division (division of assets)
  • Legal separation
  • Uncontested divorce
  • Inheritances

Business and High Asset Divorce

When you have a high net worth, or when you or your spouse own a business, you face a more complex divorce than usual. There are many other things that must be taken into account, such as business valuations and tax consequences of a divorce.

Our dedicated legal team works closely with experts in the business community (i.e. accountants, financial analysts, appraisers, etc.) to help you get through all the intricate procedures surrounding a high asset divorce.

divorce assets

Initial Pleadings


To initiate a divorce in the state of Wisconsin one party known as the Petitioner (or both parties together if the parties wish to file a joint Petition) needs to obtain the initial divorce pleadings.

These documents can be much more complex than individuals initially expect because the Petitioner needs to clearly identify what they are requesting in their prayer for relief. The Petitioner needs to know what to ask for based on the circumstances of their particular divorce. Therefore, our attorneys often draft these initial pleadings for the Petitioner.

The individual that receives the divorce pleadings is called the Respondent. The Respondent has his or her own obligations to the Court. The Respondent must file a response and has a limited time to answer. The Respondent must know how to respond to the Petitioner’s requests.

Divorce Timeline

Divorce in the state of Wisconsin has a mandatory waiting period of 120 days before the court will allow you to finalize the process. You will therefore not likely resolve your divorce for at least 6 months. This 6-month timeline is realistic in cases where there are limited issues between the parties.

The Divorce process will start with a Temporary Order Hearing, wherein the Court will address issues of Custody, Placement, Child Support, Maintenance, Property Division, and Debt Payments. This initial hearing is handled by the Family Court Commissioner and the Orders made by the Court are temporary. This hearing is to set rules for the parties to follow while they are awaiting their final Trial or Stipulated Divorce hearing.

After the Temporary Order Hearing, most counties have a pre-trial where the Court seeks to determine what the issues are and set a timeline for settlement or Trial. These processes change based upon the county in which the divorce is filed. You will want to discuss with an attorney the specific procedures for your particular county.


divorce meeting

The parties may settle outside of Court and to do so they must create a Marital Settlement Agreement or Divorce Contract. Both parties generally must appear at the final divorce hearing, even if there is a stipulated agreement, to testify to the Court regarding agreements made. If the parties cannot come to agreed-upon terms, they must attend a Contested Divorce Hearing or Divorce Trial.

Trial can be costly and emotionally damaging to both parties. Your Attorney will do their best to negotiate appropriate terms prior to Trial, but if they are unable to do so they will vehemently represent you at trial.

Children in Divorce

divorce, child custody and child placement

The Court only has jurisdiction over minor children (under the age of 18). The Court will not make legal custody or physical placement decisions, or orders regarding adult children.

Meet our Attorneys

Phillip Z. Trampe


Matthew P. Johnson


James R. Joling


Jillian E. Clausen


Contact Murphy, Johnson, & Trampe, S.C.

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    Professional family law help for every client

    The attorneys at Murphy Johnson & Trampe S.C. have successfully represented thousands of family law clients throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. Based on our results, we have obtained a strong reputation in the legal community.

    We regularly handle matters in areas such as Racine, Lake Geneva, Williams Bay, Fontana, Delavan, East Troy, Burlington,Whitewater, Twin Lakes, Kenosha, Waukesha, Milwaukee, Brookfield and Mukwonago, as well as other communities throughout Racine County, Kenosha County, Waukesha County, Milwaukee County, and Walworth County, Wisconsin.

    Child Placement

    While Mr. Trampe was not my attorney and he was my significant others, I have to say that if anyone is looking for a highly intelligent, aggressive lawyer for their custody case, Mr. Trampe, will make sure you win. He was very knowledgeable and would leave no stone un-turned for his client. He was more than fair in dealing with my attorney when my partner and I decided to settle the matter between us with the help of our attorneys. If any man is in need of help with a custody matter with their child/children I HIGHLY RECOMMEND HIM. He will fight for you until you get the results you are looking for. Thank you, Mr. Trampe, Heather


    I met Phil in the March of 2014 when I went for the free consultation about filling for a divorce. From the first meeting and throughout the entire divorce process he was very honest, friendly, always available to answer any of my questions or concerns. He fought for my benefits every step of the way , him and his staff were always there to take my calls , give advice and encouragement when I needed it. I would recommend his services to everyone who is looking for a fair, knowledgeable, professional and successful legal services

    Grandparent Rights

    When I first went to Phillip at my free visit, he was very compassionate and listened to everything I said. My request was an unusual one, I wanted to be allowed to see my grandson. Phil fought very hard to make that happen & now I get to see my grandson every month. I would recommend Phil to anyone that was having the issues that I was having. Thanks you so much Phil

    Excellent attorney – couldn’t be more pleased

    Matthew Johnson provided me with fantastic legal advice and support, and did a great job for me. Very knowledgeable, conscientious and hard-working. Prompt, thorough communication throughout the entire process, which was greatly appreciated. I am very pleased with the way things were resolved and am very happy that I hired him.