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How much should your kid know about your divorce?

When Wisconsin parents decide to divorce, you may be thinking of a lot of different things. Who will get the house? Will one parent get primary custody, or will you go with joint custody? How will you deal with your financial situation? In all of this chaos, you may forget one important thing: what exactly will you tell your child?

Unmarried couples and child custody

Unwed parents in Wisconsin who decide to separate will still have to deal with matters of child custody, even if they don't have to deal with a divorce. This can be a difficult matter for any couple to deal with. However, there are a few extra things for unwed couples to keep in mind.

Are there things I should I do before filing for divorce?

Making the decision to file for divorce is rarely an easy one. Divorce is difficult and completely changes your life and the lives of your children. Before filing for divorce in Wisconsin, there are some things you can do to help make it easier on everyone and to ensure you come out in a good place at the end.

Children’s rights and best interests

Children in Wisconsin have long been recognized as having certain rights when it comes to the relationship with their parents and how their parents relate to one another. The Children’s Bill of Rights, as articulated by the Dane County Child Support Agency, for example, recognizes that children should be able to have a relationship with both parents, to receive guidance and support from each parent, and to have a “relaxed, secure relationship” with parents. The context, however, of these enumerated rights is that children have a right to be protected from deprivation of these rights by another parent. Parents should know that their children should be free of manipulation and should not have to listen to one parent degrade and speak in a demeaning way about the other. Children should be able to love and respect each parent, and to express that love and respect, “without having to stifle that love because of fear of disapproval.”

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