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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.”

Using 401K funds for child or spousal support

Are you one of the man people in Wisconsin who is getting divorced and faces the prospect of paying either child support or spousal support or both? If so, you are not alone and you no doubt feel some level of angst about how in the world you are going to be able to afford these court-mandated payments especially knowing that your everyday cost of living will be higher as a single person than it was when you were part of a married household.

Will my business be affected by my divorce?

When a party to a divorce is the major owner of a closely-held business or sole proprietorship, the assets, expenses and overall valuation of the business will likely become the subject of discovery and disclosure. There are steps that can be taken to mitigate some of the effects of its inclusion in the divorce discovery procedure but without careful planning and preparation, your business could be adversely affected. 

The affect of domestic violence on child custody

Divorcing parents in Wisconsin not only have to deal with the divorce itself, but will also have to handle matters of child custody. Determining who will be the primary custodian, how the timeshare tables will look, and other issues will be discussed thoroughly in court. This is also where matters of abuse, neglect, and domestic violence will be noted.

How can I co-parent well?

Are you a divorced or separated parent in Wisconsin? If so, you know that even while you can separate yourself in many ways from your former spouse, when it comes to raising your children, you are not able to be fully separated from that person. For your own sake and especially for the sake of your children, finding ways to co-parent positively is extremely important.

Grandparents' visitation rights and the law

When a couple with children divorces, the legal results that follow can often negatively impact the grandparents of those children. Some couples simply cannot reach a consensus regarding visitation rights of grandparents, which can naturally create an emotionally painful situation. Yet Wisconsin law protects the rights of grandparents when it comes to divorce with children, and is able to intervene when a couple cannot reach an agreement regarding child visitation hours.

Legal custody and physical placement

Matters of legal custody (sometimes known as parental responsibility) and physical placement (sometimes known as time-sharing) in a divorce are generally settled by an agreement and court order. In a Wisconsin divorce, a court determines custody rights by making findings regarding the best interests of the child. The court may also adopt an agreement made by the parents. Due to various parenting styles, it is not always clear to the parties of a divorce what constitutes the best interests of their own child.

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