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The basics of valuating a business during divorce

One of the potentially most complex aspects of any divorce is determining exactly what to do with a business. In Wisconsin, a community property state, the courts will try to divide all marital assets equally between the separating spouses. But how do you do that with a business – an asset that is constantly changing?

The first step is to figure out just how much the business is worth. Here’s a brief overview of how that happens.

How a life insurance policy can protect children after divorce

When parents decide to pursue a divorce, both want to do what’s best for their children. Oftentimes people think of custody agreements or child support when considering what the child might need.

Yet there are ways to offer stability for minor children beyond those options, while accounting for one potential, tragic outcome: the death of a parent. And that’s through a life insurance policy.

What might happen to the beloved family pet during divorce?

Millions of American families are pet owners. Whether it be a dog, cat, bird, guinea pig, fish, chicken, iguana or another type of animal, these pets are often treated with the same love and respect as any other family member.

When it comes to divorce however, the law does not necessarily view those beloved companions the same way.

Checklist: 4 financial steps to take prior to a divorce filing

You have reached the conclusion that your marriage is over and you are considering filing for divorce. You may want to act quickly, or, you may be lost and confused.  This is a huge step in your life, and it's going to impact you for years to come. That's not something you want to rush through, risking mistakes. And, you also want to take certain steps to insure a positive result for your future after your divorce. Here are a few important tips in terms of financial steps to take to prepare for your divorce:

The value of having an appraiser in your high asset divorce

When you own assets of high net worth, the property division process will often be the most challenging aspect of your divorce. Not only do you and your spouse have to determine how your assets are divided, but also the value of each asset in question. You may be one of many people currently going through a divorce, and you may be having a hard time agreeing with your spouse on the value of your property. When disputes arise, you may need to turn to the expertise of an appraiser who can help determine the true value of your assets through an unbiased lens.

What Are The Benefits Of Divorce Mediation?

Going through divorce can be a complicated, stressful, and costly process. Some couples, however, choose to work with a third-party neutral to help resolve disputes, alleviate stress, and reduce the expense of court litigation. This process is called divorce mediation. Many couples who choose to resolve their divorce differences through divorce mediation find the process to be empowering. Divorce mediation is an alternative form of dispute resolution that allows divorcing spouses to retain a strong voice in the outcome of their divorce settlement by agreeing in advance to attempt to resolve all issues in their divorce outside of court and with the assistance of a neutral divorce mediator.

Potential issues that may be resolved through divorce mediation are not confined to a specific area. A qualified, certified neutral divorce mediator can guide couples toward resolving complex issues related to:

Handling The Holidays When Parents Have Family Law Issues

Managing holiday schedules can be cumbersome for any parent. When parents of minor children are facing family law issues or divorce, scheduling family gatherings during the holidays is often more complicated. In divorce, courts focus on the best interests of the children to determine child custody and placement matters.

It may be difficult for parents who are at odds with each other to apply that standard in the way that courts do during a contentious divorce. Focusing on the children, however, in making holiday arrangements, instead of focusing on parental disputes, may provide a positive framework for easing strains in scheduling holiday events. Here are some tips parents may use to help keep the peace during the holidays:

Dividing Pensions or Retirement Plans in a Wisconsin Divorce

You likely have worked hard to amass retirement assets with a view to a life of comfort and leisure after leaving the workforce. When a marriage breaks down financial security in retirement is often a real concern. This is true regardless if your retirement is in the distant future or right around the corner. In a marital property state, like Wisconsin, retirement accounts are divisible in divorce. For many individuals in their fifties and sixties, assets in a retirement plan are substantial. Understanding how your retirement will be divided in divorce can be a complicated process and accordingly, it is critical to understand how retirement assets are treated in a divorce. 

Defined Contribution Plans vs. Defined Benefit Plans

Understanding Harassment Restraining Orders Under Wisconsin Law

Many individuals are aware that Wisconsin law allow victims of domestic abuse to seek a domestic abuse restraining order against the abuser. Similarly, when child abuse is evident, a restraining order can help to protect the child. However, what happens  your spouse or ex-partner has not necessarily committed domestic abuse pursuant to the definition under statute but is harassing you?  Or, when someone outside the home -- maybe someone with whom you have never had a relationship -- continues to harass or stalk you? Is there any relief?

Harassment is defined pursuant to statute as a “pattern of harassing conduct with no legitimate purposes.”  Victims of harassment may seek a court order that commands the harasser to stay away and stop contacting the victim. Even when harassment does not include physical contact or touching, the victim may be able to obtain a restraining order. Constant telephone calls, repeated unwanted visits to your home or frequent unwanted contacts in any form that have no legitimate purpose may provide the basis for a harassment restraining order.

Understanding Child Custody And Relocations In Wisconsin

We live in a mobile society. Individuals often choose to relocate for a wide range of reasons. However, if a parent wants to move with his or her child and a family court proceeding is pending, or there is a current custody order in place, choosing to move may be more complicated. Even parents with sole legal custody may need to take steps to obtain consent from the other parent, or permission from the court to relocate, if the other parent has placement (or visitation) rights.

Wisconsin law requires relocating parents to notify the other parent of their intent to relocate with their child to another state.  In early April 2018, the law in Wisconsin changed and now notice is required too if the proposed move involves a distance of 100 miles or more even if it is within the State of Wisconsin. If you are considering a move and want to take your child with you, it may be wise to resolve child custody and placement issues before taking any other steps.

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