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Milwaukee Family Law Blog

Child custody and support issues that many Wisconsin parents face

Filing for divorce is often one of the most serious decisions a Wisconsin parent makes in life. Whether you have one or several children, you likely never imagined you'd one day be filing a petition in court to end your marriage. In such situations, it is not uncommon to worry about child custody and support issues, especially if you anticipate a less-than-amicable process with your ex as you work to finalize a settlement.

The court typically believes that most children fare best when they have ample opportunity to maintain active, healthy relationships with both parents after divorce. If there is no reason your ex should be barred from seeing your kids, you might be able to work out a shared custody plan. In fact, many parents are able to do this without ever stepping foot inside a courtroom by using mediation or collaborative law sessions to avoid litigation.

Kate Beckinsale, Len Wiseman took 4 years to finalize divorce

Before the new year strikes in 2020, many Wisconsin residents will decide to end their marriages. Reasons will vary although many spouses may have certain issues in common, such as having been cheated on, being tired of feeling unappreciated or simply deciding to no longer stay in an unhappy relationship. However, filing for divorce and finalizing one are two very different things; in fact, it can take months, or longer, to successfully accomplish the latter.

Kate Beckinsale and her former spouse, Len Wiseman. whom she met on a movie set in 2003, were married more than 10 years when trouble arose in their relationship. It is understandable that a spouse might feel betrayed and upset if his or her partner develops romantic ties with someone else. Beckinsale's spouse was reportedly spotted making public appearances with a well-known model, which might have been what led to the divorce petition the couple filed that same year.

Divorce: Don't let legal issues keep you from moving on in life

Many Wisconsin marriages are in a constant state of turmoil. In fact, many couples have already filed for divorce this year. Most who have and are also parents consider their greatest priorities to be helping their children cope and avoiding legal stress that can impede the ability to leave the past behind and move on in life.

No two lives are exactly the same. While one might relate to friends or family members who have divorced, it is unlikely that any one person can offer a golden piece of advice to help eliminate all stress in these circumstances. There are several tips that may prove helpful, however.

Collaborative divorce and your Door County vacation home

With miles of shoreline, beautiful forests and delicious restaurants, Door County is a vacationer’s dream. If you cannot resist the peninsula’s draw, you may own a vacation home in the area. Still, if your getaway is marital property, you must address its ownership during your divorce proceedings. 

Mediation often provides an optimal setting for negotiating vacation house ownership with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. That is, through a collaborative process, you and your partner may have access to options that an adversarial proceeding often precludes. Here are some ways you may want to handle your Door County vacation home: 

Anticipating a child custody battle in a Wisconsin divorce?

Wisconsin parents definitely do not always agree when it comes to raising their children. It is common for families to include one parent who is more lenient with kids than the other, for instance. Such differences of opinion can lead to legal problems if a particular set of parents decides to divorce and one or the other files a child custody petition.

It is important to remember that the court will ultimately issue an order regarding custody, visitation or child support issues. While most family law judges are open to listening to (and perhaps, even request) both parents' opinions, it is children's best interests that the court considers its highest priority. A judge expects each parent to be willing to do what is best for a child's mental, physical, financial and emotional well-being.

Audrina Partridge says co-parenting is toughest part of divorce

Swimsuit designer Audrina Partridge has reportedly re-entered the dating scene. As a now-divorced single mother, she recently shared thoughts on what she is seeking in a relationship and also what the most challenging parts of her own marital breakup have been. Many Wisconsin readers can certainly relate to Partridge's circumstances.

The court granted a protective order in Partridge's favor when she accused her ex of domestic violence. He is a famous BMX racer and was not allowed to come within 100 yards of Partridge, their 3-year-old daughter, their home or the child's school. Partridge said that co-parenting has definitely been the most challenging aspect of her divorce.

Use divorce as motivation to repair your credit

While not all divorces are acrimonious or heart-wrenching, you may need something to distract you from the emotional toll that often accompanies the end of a marriage. If your credit score is not as high as you would like, you may choose to direct your efforts toward repairing your finances. After all, good credit is usually essential for securing post-divorce financial freedom. 

According to the consumer credit reporting company Experian, divorce does not affect credit by itself. Instead, credit scores sometimes nosedive because of the financial difficulties that often pop up before, during and immediately after divorce. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to fix a credit score after a divorce concludes. Here are three of them: 

Divorce and finances

Going through a divorce in Wisconsin can be financially devastating. Between attorney fees and paying for two households, the process can be draining. Post-divorce provides its own financial headaches if one spouse owes child and/or spousal support. However, making smart decisions and planning ahead can minimize the financial impact, and there are even financial benefits after divorce.

According to Investopedia, choosing mediation over court litigation is one way couples can save money during a divorce. This is not the best choice for all situations, but it is a good option for uncomplicated circumstances and a couple who can communicate and negotiate. If the mediator charges by the hour, the more the couple can decide between themselves the less money the process will take.

Spousal support may affect divorce negotiations

When breadwinner spouses in Wisconsin get divorced, they are often most concerned about spousal support. In fact, their financially dependent spouses worry about this too. Will they be eligible to receive it? And, if not, will they be able to make a living on their own after holding back on their career pursuits or leaving the job market altogether for so many years?

In an article published by Business Insider, a man explained that paying spousal support cost him all his disposable income. For 30 years, he worked as the sole or main breadwinner in the family. After the divorce, he agreed that he should help his ex-wife get back on her feet as she learned to find her own financial footing. However, that cost him 20% of his earnings at the time of his divorce.

Take control of your divorce with the collaboration process

When facing divorce, visions of a lengthy, expensive courtroom battle may spring to mind. This is something you would probably like to avoid at all costs.

Fortunately, you have options, and one is a form of alternative dispute resolution, or ADR, called collaborative divorce. The ability for participants to control the outcome is one reason this process has become so popular.

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