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Robert S. Duxstad
Daniel P. Bestul
Lance A. McNaughton
Robert S. Duxstad

Daniel P. Bestul



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Divorce and other family law matters are immediate concerns that have deep long-term consequences. As a family attorney, Dan Bestul helps clients achieve lasting resolutions for their entire families. Dan listens intently and focuses on what is most important to his clients. What are their concerns? What do they hope to accomplish? How the decisions they make today affect them and their families 10 days from now, 10 months from now or 10 years from now?

Working alongside his clients, Dan helps them identify their goals and the resources available to reach those goals. Dan is particularly adept at managing complex financial issues and cases involving children. He ensures that clients understand the range of options so they can choose the one that best satisfies their needs and values. Ultimately, Dan’s goal is not just to win a battle but to help his clients build their futures.

Skilled in collaboration, mediation and traditional litigation, Dan is a strong advocate of the collaborative approach. He believes that clients benefit from being involved in every step of the process. They create agreements themselves rather than having settlements imposed on them, and move forward from divorce with a stronger sense of control over their futures.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin—Madison Law School, Dan joined Duxstad & Bestul in 1987. He is admitted to the bar in Wisconsin and Illinois, the United States Supreme Court, and U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin. Dan is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Green County Bar Association, the Lafayette County Bar Association; he is also a member of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Wisconsin and the International Association of Collaborative Professionals. A frequent presenter at legal seminars, Dan has trained in collaborative law and mediation. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and was named the list of Wisconsin Superlawyers


Professional Background:

  • Four years service in United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps
  • Joined D&B as an associate in 1987
  • Frequent presenter at legal seminars

Bar Admissions:

  • Wisconsin — 1983
  • Illinois — 1987
  • United States Supreme Court — 1995
  • U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin

Districts of Wisconsin Education:

  • Ripon College — B.A., with majors in Politics and government and Spanish, 1980
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison Law School – Juris Doctor, 1983

Supreme Court and Court of Appeals cases:

  • In re the marriage of Winters, 2010AP002479 (released January 17, 2013)
  • Wolfe-Ginter v. Ginter: 2010 WI App 120
  • Kracht v. Kracht: 2009 WI App 110, 320 Wis.2d 704, 771 N.W.2d 929
  • Delaney v. Delaney: 2008 WI 122, 314 Wis.2d 72, 758 N.W.2d 92
  • Mayer v. Schulz: 2007 WI App 251, 306 Wis.2d 447, 742 N.W.2d 75
  • Tammie J.C. v. Robert T.R.: In re the Termination of Parental Rights to Thomas J.R
    • Court of Appeals: 2002 WI APP 56, 251 Wis.2d 483, 640 N,W,2d 566 (2002)
    • Supreme Court: 2003 WI 61, 262 Wis.2d 217, 663 N.W.2d 774 (2003)
  • Redfearn v. Redfearn: 2002 WI App 34, 250 Wis.2d 354, 639 N.W.2d 802 (2002)
  • State v. Hughes: 2001 WI App 31,241 Wis.2d 49, 622 N.W.2d 769 (2001)
  • State v. Hereford: 195 Wis.2d 1054, 537 N.W.2d 62 (1995)
  • State v. Guck:
    • Court of Appeals: 170 Wis.2d 661, 490 N.W.2d 34 (1992)
    • Supreme Court: 176 Wis.2d 845, 500 N.W.2d 910 (1993)
  • State v. Schultz:
    • Court of Appeals: 148 Wis.2d 370, 435 N.W.2d 305 (1988)
    • Supreme Court: 152 Wis.2d 408, 448 N.W.2d 424 (1989)

Professional Memberships:

  • State Bar of Wisconsin (member of Family law and General Practice sections)
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Collaborative Family Law Council of Wisconsin (Board of Directors, 2007-2010)
  • International Association of Collaborative Professionals
  • Green County Bar Association (President, 1989)
  • Lafayette County Bar Association
  • Wisconsin Chapter, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
  • Wisconsin Association of Mediators

Professional Memberships:

  • Superlawyer 2005, 2010-2018
  • AAML Fellow, 2012-2018

Collaborative Training:

  • Building Blocks of Collaborative Practice (2001, 2007)
  • Taking the War Out of Our Words Powerful Non-Defensive Communication (2009)
  • Strategic Negotiation and Artful Communication (2010)

Mediation Training

  • Divorce and Custody Mediation Skills Training (April 2007)
  • Advanced Mediation Skills: Framing Issues for Maximum Mediator Effectiveness in Domestic Relations Mediation (February 2008)

Community Service:

  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Green County
    • Member, Board of Directors, 1988-1994
    • Board President, 1993

  • Boy Scouts of America
    • Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 180, Monroe
    • Committee Member, Venture Crew 1812
    • District Chairman, Arrowhead District, Blackhawk Area Council
    • Vice President for District Operations, Blackhawk Area Council

  • Monroe Excellence in Education Foundation
    • Board Member 2005-present
    • Board President 2007

Public Service:

  • Monroe School board, 1994-2003
    • Board Treasurer, 1996-1999
    • Board President, 1999-2003

  • Monroe Police and Fire Commission: 2012 – 2016

Presenter at Continuing Legal Education Seminars/Topics:

  • Termination of Parental Rights, State Bar of Wisconsin, June, 1992, Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Caselaw Update, State Bar of Wisconsin Family Law Section: Family Law Workshop, August, 2002, Egg Harbor, Wisconsin
  • When the Kids Aren’t Where They Should Be: Modifying and Enforcing Placement, State Bar of Wisconsin Family Law Section, Family Law Workshop, August, 2004, Egg Harbor, Wisconsin
  • Family Law and Military Matters, State Bar of Wisconsin Annual Convention, May, 2007, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Program Moderator, Guardian ad Litem Basic Training, State Bar of Wisconsin, April, 2006, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Organizing for Trial: Seven Habits of Highly Effective Family Law Litigators, Family Law: Helping Your Clients Through Difficult Cases, May, 2007, NBI, Madison, Wisconsin
  • New Approaches to Solving and Old Problem: Enforcing Placement Orders, Child Custody and Visitation, December, 2007, NBI, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Handling the Rambo Litigator, Solo and Small Firms Conference, State Bar of Wisconsin, October, 2010, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
  • Handling Advanced Maintenance Cases, 30th Annual Family Law Workshop, August 2011, Family Law Section, State Bar of Wisconsin, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
  • Collaborative Family Law: Resolving Disputes Respectfully, Wisconsin Family Court Commissioners Association Spring Conference, May 2012, Black River Falls, Wisconsin
  • Anatomy of a Collaborative Case – Financial Issues, Dane County Chapter Collaborative Family Law Council of Wisconsin, November 2012, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Adjunct Instructor, Blackhawk Technical College “People’s Law School”, Monroe, Wisconsin (2005, 2011 and 2012).
  • Court appointed and private mediator (Custody, placement and financial matters)
  • Volunteer Lawyer Project, Legal Action of Wisconsin
  • Pro bono volunteer, ABA Military Pro Bono Project

Practice Areas

  • Family Law
    • Custody and Placement
    • Property Division
    • Support and Maintenance
    • Paternity
    • Mediation

  • Collaborative Family Law
  • Guardian ad litem for minor children in family law cases


Dan Bestul believes that “winning” a family law case takes much more than getting a judge to agree with you. A client’s best interests include the well being of children, family peace, and economic stability. Combative, abrasive, “hard-ball” tactics might make a party feel better in the short term, but is seldom an effective way to maximize the client’s interests in the long run. The parties to family law cases often continue to interact for years after the final judgment, and the damage caused by a “no-holds-barred” approach can seldom be repaired. Dan believes effective family advocacy requires tenacity, patience, creativity and a commitment to long-term results.

Contact D&B

MONROE  (608) 325-4924
DARLINGTON  (608) 776-2662
TOLL-FREE  (866) 325-4924

Looking for Legal Advice?

Contact Daniel Bestul today for expert legal advice, knowledge and guidance needed to keep you protected. If you would like to find how he can help you, Email him at bestul@duxstadlaw.com or call him at 608-325-4924.