Brazil & Benske, LLC

Milwaukee Family Law Blog

State laws may not be supportive enough of shared parenting

With a plethora of research proving that shared parenting is in the best interest of children everywhere whose parents are getting divorced, it may be surprising to some that it is not promoted further by state courts. In Wisconsin and many other states, some people are questioning whether or not lawmakers are doing enough to support a shared parenting initiative for children in households where their parents have divorced. 

In a recent report run by the National Parents Organization, an unimpressive D+ was the most that a third of the states earned in terms of their effectiveness at promoting shared parenting plans. Grades were determined by comparing 21 different factors based on each state's laws and views regarding child custody. States that talked openly about their desire for children to continue maintaining a relationship with both of their parents received a much higher score than those who did not. 

Being prepared to juggle retirement and divorce

When a couple has decided to get divorced from each other in Wisconsin, they face many challenges in regards to separating the life they have created together. Effectively and efficiently moving forward with life can be exponentially more difficult for couples that have been married for a longer period of time. One area that can be seriously impacted is a couple's retirement savings and plan. 

According to U.S. News, if a couple has been married for enough years that they are both over 50, they should be fully prepared to see their retirement savings cut in half. In some cases, couples may agree that they will not require alimony of each other to increase the number of funds they have to contribute to their retirement savings that are now dwindling. Even in situations where the reason for divorce is clearly one person's fault, it is common for all retirement savings to be split evenly between the two parties. 

Are you still required to pay child support with no job?

You have recently been informed that your job in Wisconsin is no longer stable and it is time for you to find new employment. While this news alone has left you feeling stressed and uneasy, you are also facing the challenge of continuing to support your children through a legally required child support payment, without adequate income to cover the costs recommended by the court order. 

While discontinuing to pay your obligations may seem like a fair and appropriate response for a temporary period of time, discontinuing payments without providing information to anyone can put you in trouble with the law. As soon as you miss a payment, you will be considered delinquent and could be facing serious legal consequences including suspension of your driver's license or passport, fines and having your tax return withheld among other things. The number one way you can prevent such serious consequences is by making sure that the appropriate parties are informed of the changes in your employment status. 

Not all divorce mediators are the same

Couples in Wisconsin who are going through a divorce and want a less stressful process may choose mediation over court litigation. Part of the process is picking a mediator, and it is important to know that they are not all the same. For the best outcome for both parties, it is worth taking the time to conduct adequate research and ask the right questions.

According to HuffPost, mediators can have different backgrounds, experience and education, so it is imperative to find one who has divorce mediation training and has years of experience. Mediators also have different fee systems. Some charge by the hour, while others charge a flat fee. While divorce proceedings is not an area to cut corners, it is possible to find a qualified mediator who charges a reasonable flat fee.

Protecting your credit in a divorce

There is a lot of talk about protecting finances in a divorce and separating assets. Few people in Wisconsin remember to focus on protecting their credit as well. Note that a divorce may not have a direct impact on credit scores. However, it may have indirect effects, especially when it comes to debt or open accounts couples shared together.

Experian reminds exes that a divorce decree does not liberate them from the joint debts they racked up during the marriage. They may still need to pay these off. Common examples may include the mortgage or credit card bills. Even when a particular spouse becomes responsible for a specific bill, note that the other spouse may still be held legally liable if the debt is also in their name. Because of this, if one ex-spouse pays late, both may be affected.

Less contentious divorce is easier for children to handle

The breakup of a family unit is difficult for everyone. If you face divorce, you are most concerned about the effect on your children.

Children react to the split in different ways, but they eventually adapt, depending on the overall process. This is one reason why collaborative divorce, less contentious than litigation, is popular with parents.

Protecting the family business during a divorce

When two entrepreneurial minds in Wisconsin marry, the results can be amazing. The couple works hard together to build something that not only supports their own individual ambitions but provides for their family. Over time, they develop not just financial attachments to the business, but an emotional attachment as well.

Many people may wonder then, what happens if the couple splits up? What is the best way to decide who gets what without ripping the business to shreds? Luckily, there are a few options couples can explore if they are willing to work together and arrive at an amicable solution.

3 reasons to choose legal separation over divorce

When you walked down the aisle, you probably assumed you would live with your spouse forever. You also planned for a financial future with your husband or wife. As you know, though, not all marriages end in happily ever after. Sometimes, spouses choose to dissolve the marriage and look elsewhere for happiness. 

The Badger State has one of the lower divorce rates in the country. Still, in Wisconsin, divorce is not your only option. Instead, you may choose to legally separate from your spouse. Here are three reasons why you may opt for legal separation over a divorce: 

When is child support modification possible?

When you get divorced in Wisconsin, a court sets the terms of your child support agreement based on your child's living situation and you and your ex-spouse's financial assets. However, the original child support payments may not be correct if your income changes. In certain circumstances, you may request that the terms of your child support agreements change to accommodate new financial realities.

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families provides residents with important information about the state's child support laws. According to the guide, the state may modify child support agreements if the child's living arrangements and/or the parents' income changes. If you request a change, a child support agent or court official may review the case before making a decision. You and your ex-spouse may need to provide up-to-date financial information during the review process.

More men are getting spousal support

In the days of old, men in Wisconsin and the rest of the U.S. were too manly to accept alimony from their ex-spouse. They would not even ask. While, most still will not ask, more men are getting spousal support than ever before. MarketWatch notes that 45% of lawyers noted an increase in women paying not just alimony but also child support.

While equal pay is still a problem in the workplace, it is becoming less prevalent at home. Many women out-earn their partners and more men now opt to become stay-at-home dads. Because of this, in the event of a divorce, the women often end up footing the bill for child support and alimony. Many are very surprised when this happens. However, from as early as 1979, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that paying spousal support was gender neutral.

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