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Is a prenuptial agreement right for you?

Wisconsin couples seeking to get married hope for a life full of wedded bliss. But you may be wondering if you should try to prepare for every possible scenario by signing a prenuptial agreement, or if something like that is unnecessary or even offensive.

Opinions on prenuptial agreements are often very divided, with some saying that it speaks to pessimism and distrust of one's partners and others saying that it's realistic and important to be as open about all possibilities with their partners as possible. HowStuffWorks.com breaks down prenuptial agreements to their most basic form: something that allows partners to protect their financial situations even in the event of a worst-case scenario.

How are prescription drug possession charges dealt?

Wisconsin has some pretty harsh penalties against drug possession that can leave you high and dry if you get charged and convicted. We at the Mayer Law Office, LLC, work to highlight what you should know about these possession laws, which can help you understand your position better.

Several misunderstandings may occur that can lead to you being slapped with a drug possession charge. For example, if your medication prescription is expired or if you placed the pills into an unlabeled bottle, you could cause confusion with the officer or technically be breaking a law without being aware of it. In some cases, someone may even be taking the wrong medication while mistakenly believing it's something else.

The truth about domestic assault

Violence and assaults are widely known to occur all over the United States, but domestic violence is a topic that often goes undiscussed. Even though every state in the U.S. enforces domestic violence restraining order laws, the details of a restraining order can vary depending on jurisdiction. In regards to domestic violence in particular, Wisconsin enforces The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence to help protect those involved in abuse.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice provides a Domestic Abuse Reference Book that categorizes different types of domestic abuse charges. Wisconsin state officials point out that, unlike many violence cases, a domestic abuse victim is usually personally close with the offender. This fact complicates court hearings and procedures, in that many victims refuse to seek out prosecution. Therefore, prosecutors must attempt to form relationships with victims to best hold the offender accountabe. The following charges are among the most common in domestic abuse, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice:

  • Battery
  • Criminal damage to property
  • Disorderly conduct   
  • Intimidation of witnesses
  • Intimidation of victims

Keeping retirement plans on track with guidance during divorce

No matter the age of the couple involved, the end of a marriage can often be a stressful and daunting experience. However, if you are closing in on the age of retirement, you may have additional concerns about how the outcome of a divorce might impact your current plans for the road ahead.

Perhaps you have spent years planning and saving for this point in life, and you worry that a divorce could disrupt your retirement plans. While property division will affect your financial standings, there are certain measures you can take that might help you transition into life on your own with less worry on your mind.

New bill to end bail bonds in Senate

Many families in Wisconsin have felt the effects that needing to pay bail has had on their bank accounts. A new bill in the Senate may change this for families across the country.

According to the New York Times, there is a bi-partisan bill being proposed by Senators Kamala Harris (D. CA) and Rand Paul (R. KY) to end the practice of detaining defendants before their trials for not being able to pay their bail. Each day there are 450,000 people across the country who are awaiting their trials in jail because they cannot pay their bail. Some defendants spend years in jail awaiting their trials only to be found innocent, in the process losing their jobs and sometimes custody of their children. With bail amounts often not matching the crime and higher rates being set for black and Latino men, the Senators believe the system needs to be reformed for the sake of justice. 

The consequences of crime

A criminal defense charge is a complex problem with a complex solution. Those arrested with criminal charges in Wisconsin face a series of procedures ranging from court hearings to prison sentences. The incident may be clear, but the outlook of future possible punishment is less straightforward.  

Wisconsin State Legislature maintains that an individual can be convicted of either the crime charged or an included crime, but not both. An included crime is one that is found within a larger, more serious crime. A crime charged is a formal accusation of a criminal charge. There are many directions each of these charges can take, and often include factors such as basis for evidence and type of criminal charge.

Grandparents' rights and the opioid epidemic

As the nation deals with a drug problem that is becoming a health epidemic, Wisconsin grandparents are oftentimes being left to pick up the pieces. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, 2015 saw more than 52,000 deaths nationwide as a result of accidental drug overdoses. Experts believe that opioid overdoses kill 80 people each day.

With numbers of users and deaths mounting, more and more children are being affected by their parents' use of drugs, and child protective services are having difficulty keeping up with the soaring number of children in need. Currently, around 80 percent of open cases involve the parents' use of drugs or alcohol. In many cases, family members, like grandparents, are stepping in to take care of the children, both informally or officially, as kinship foster parents.

401(k) division may impact your divorce outcomes

Once you know that your marriage is heading for divorce, you may begin to wonder what the outcomes of the proceedings will entail. In particular, you may have concerns regarding property division and which assets you could potentially lose. An important aspect of this part of divorce relates to accounting for all assets. If you overlook an account or piece of property, what happens during division proceedings could easily catch you off guard.

One asset you may wish to pay particular attention to during divorce is your 401(k). The court could potentially divide this account during the process, but certain rules and laws apply to its division.

The pitfalls of a joint mortgage in a divorce

Have you and your spouse decided to get a divorce? If so, you are not alone as many other Wisconsin couples face this very tough choice every day. However, the fact remains that getting a divorce can feel lonely as you have to let go of many things. Your home may well be one of the things you leave in a divorce. But, you should take caution to make sure that you address not only what to do with your house but with your mortgage as well.

If your spouse has indicated a desire to retain your family home and you have a joint mortage on that house, different financial arrangements will need to be made. Bankrate explains that even a detailed divorce decree that puts responsibility for the mortgage on your spouse cannot actually protect you from collection efforts by the lender. This means that if you allow your spouse to stay in the house without getting a new mortgage in their name only, you could be liable for any missed or late payments.

Are field sobriety tests really accurate?

People in Wisconsin may find it helpful to understand what may transpire during a traffic stop that turns into a potential investigation for suspected driving under the influence. There may be a few different tests that law enforcment officers ask you to participate in before they decide whether or not to place you under arrests. These are called field sobriety tests. It is important for you to know that these tests are not 100-percent accurate.

In fact, FieldSobrietyTests.org indicates that even when all three of the tests approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are used, the accuracy rate will be only 82 percent. Of the three tests, the one that tracks an involuntary motion of the eyeball is the most accurate on its own at 77 percent. However, things like neurological or eye conditions may interfere with the accuracy of this test.

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