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Milwaukee Law Article Center

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.

Can Children Choose Which Parent to Live with After Divorce?

Resolving physical placement disputes are seldom easy for parents.  Many parents who have a strong relationship with their child may believe that the child's preference should be the deciding factor. Some parents believe that as a teen nears adulthood, they have the right to choose where to live. The courts, however, resolve custody and placement disputes with one goal, serving the best interests of the child.

Children are generally not mature enough to make the decision

Tax Plan Changes May Spell Trouble For Amicable Divorce

The Tax Cut and Reform Bill passed in late December, shaking up tax brackets and deductions. The changes are the most significant changes to the tax code in decades. Among the changes is the loss of key deduction for individuals paying spousal maintenance/alimony.

Understanding the role of social media in custody disputes

The social media juggernauts, Facebook and Twitter, have changed the way we relate to each other. In the decade since their creation, these social media platforms have become an important part of our everyday existence. Photo sharing platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat offer visual snapshots of our lives. We use social media not just to share our lives, but to discuss them as well.

As wonderful as these applications have been for helping people stay connected, online posts can have very real consequences for people going through divorce and custody battles.

When to request a review of child support in Wisconsin

Child support can be modified. Unlike the division of property, which is permanent in a divorce, a child support arrangement can be modified to adjust for life changes.

Knowing when to request a review of child support can be a challenge. For many, the prospect of revisiting a child support agreement can be daunting. It can feel like reopening a can of worms. Still, adjusting child support may be necessary if there is a change in either parents' financial situation. This post provides guidance to help parents determine when they should request a review of child support.

How child support works for high wage earners in Wisconsin

What will your life look like after divorce? How much will you pay in child support? It is not always easy to envision what life will look like as a divorced parent especially regarding finances. One of the issues divorcing parents will have to resolve is that of child support. Although courts are increasingly creating more shared parenting time arrangements, in most cases one parent will still be responsible for paying some degree of child support. This is especially true when one parent’s income exceeds the other parent’s income and if the payor is a high income wage earner.

Wisconsin’s child support guidelines

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