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How can you take care of yourself after a divorce?

The weeks and months after a divorce can be stressful. You might be relieved that your divorce is finally over with, but you could have a number of conflicting emotions, including sadness, loneliness and a general feeling of being lost. You might also feel caught up in taking care of the children and helping them adjust after the divorce. It is important for you and other Wisconsin residents to practice self-care during stressful situations, as well.

The following tips are provided by Psychology Today, which might give you some ideas on how to get through the blues after your divorce:

  • Develop or re-discover an uplifting hobby or activity you enjoy, such journaling, crafting, cooking or gardening.
  • Get involved in your community by volunteering at a hospital, nursing home, shelter or library.
  • Lift your mood by listening to music, exercising, watching a funny movie or treating yourself to something special.
  • Take some time each day to slow down and relax; enjoy a hot bath, meditate, get a massage or take a nap.
  • Spend some time with your pets or go out for coffee with a friend.
  • Do not be afraid to say no, ask for help or take a break when you are feeling overwhelmed.

What you need to know about plea bargains

Wisconsin residents charged with a crime may be encouraged by their family, friends or attorney to enter into a plea bargain with the prosecutor for the purpose of reducing the crime with which they are charged and/or minimizing the length of time they will spend in jail or prison upon conviction. FindLaw explains that while there may be many benefits inherent in a plea bargain, defendants should know exactly what they are agreeing to do or not to do in any plea bargain. In addition, they should thoroughly understand the consequences they will face as a result of the plea bargain.

There are three basic kinds of plea bargains as follows:

  1. In a sentence bargain, the defendant agrees that he or she will plead guilty to the offense(s) with which he or she is charged. In exchange, the prosecutor agrees to recommend that the defendant receive a lighter sentence.
  2. In a charge bargain, the defendant agrees that he or she will plead guilty to a less serious offense. In exchange, the prosecutor agrees to remove the more serious charge.
  3. In a fact bargain, the defendant agrees that his or her attorney will not dispute the truthfulness of one or more facts that the prosecutor enters into evidence at trial. In exchange, the prosecutor agrees not to bring up one or more other facts at trial that might be prejudicial to the defendant.

How to tell if you are a candidate for an amicable divorce

The end of your marriage can bring about a range of emotions. Depending on the reason, you might be feeling angry, bitter, afraid or brokenhearted. You could also feel relieved that this part of your life is almost over. Divorce can also cause a great deal of stress. At the Mayer Law Office, LLC, we know that you and other divorcing Wisconsin residents want this period to be as stress-free as possible.

You might wonder how it is possible to keep stress to a minimum while getting ready to go to court. In many instances you might be able to avoid court altogether, even when you have significant issues to be addressed in your divorce. The Huffington Post states that amicable divorce is growing in popularity, due to many advantages over traditional litigated divorce. Amicable divorce methods, such as mediation or collaborative law, often cost less than litigation, give you privacy and can take significantly less time than going to court. An uncontested divorce may also be less stressful and teach you and your spouse valuable negotiation and communication skills.

4 tips for preparing for divorce

The time has come to end your marriage. Now, you may find yourself having dozens of thoughts running through your mind on an endless loop. You may question how your relationship got to this point, what will happen to the kids, how will you handle your finances and numerous other aspects of your life that now seem uncertain. Though you may want to dwell on these uncertainties, it may do you more good to remain proactive.

As you get your affairs in order to begin the divorce process, you may want to remember that your proceedings do not have to involve conflict and confusion at every turn. You could take the time to make preparations and feel confident as you move through the marriage dissolution process.

What is domestic violence in Wisconsin?

If you are a Wisconsin resident who is or has been the victim of domestic violence, you probably are wondering what you can do to prevent future abuse. As explained by FindLaw, even though Wisconsin has no specific law against domestic violence, it does have other laws that can be and often are applied to a domestic violence situation.

In Wisconsin, domestic abuse is defined as someone committing any of the following against you if you are his spouse or former spouse, a person with whom he lives or has lived in the past, or with whom he has had a child:

  • The intentional infliction of injury, pain or illness
  • Sexual assault
  • Any abusive physical act or threat thereof

Not married? Dividing assets might be complicated

An increasing trend for couples across the country is to cohabitate without getting married. However, spending years with the same person can have the same results as if you were both married – you might have bought a house together, opened joint bank accounts and credit cards and had children. At the Mayer Law Office, LLC, we understand that long-term cohabitation can be complicated for you and other Wisconsin residents if the relationship did not last.

You and your spouse would have certain protections during a legal divorce, such as the terms you drew up during a prenuptial agreement or equitable property division laws. Wisconsin law does not specifically address the division of marital property for cohabitating couples, since they were never legally married. Additionally, Wisconsin is not one of the few states that recognize common law marriage, according to the State Bar of Wisconsin.

Must I allow a law enforcement officer to search my car?

You may have had the experience while driving in Wisconsin of being pulled over by a law enforcement officer for speeding or some other traffic offense. As part of that traffic stop, the officer may have asked to search your car and you assumed that you had no choice but to consent.

Actually, you did have a choice. While you should never argue with a law enforcement officer or disrespect him or her, you nevertheless are not required to consent to a vehicle search. You can respectfully decline.

Can a grandparent win custody of their grandchild?

Grandparents in Wisconsin have the right to fight for the custody of their grandchildren if they believe the child's parents are not fit to raise them. However, the odds may not necessarily be in your favor, and the battle to win custody can be a very difficult one.

The Spruce makes a careful point of the fact that a child's parents will always have the strongest rights when it comes to child custody. Taking that custody away from them can be extremely hard, as you essentially need to prove that the child is living in conditions of either neglect or abandonment. Poor living condition or even financial ability in some states do not constitute abuse. The categories that fit the legal definition of abuse generally include:

  • Neglect
  • Sexual or physical abuse
  • Abandonment
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Emotional abuse

Millennials put their stamp on divorce

As the younger generation matures, they are facing the same types of problems as generations before them. Relationships, marriage, family and divorce -- younger families experience the same facts of life, although they tend to imprint their own generational approach to common problems.

Millennials, or those people born roughly between 1980 through the year 2000, are now reaching their thirties and some who have married are realizing that the marriage isn't working out. During a divorce, they face the same questions about custody, support payments and property division. Given all this, are millennials really all that different from other generations?

How can I establish paternity of my child?

If you are a Wisconsin man who was not married to your child’s mother at the time he or she was born, Wisconsin does not consider you to be your child’s legal father or to have any rights to him or her unless you formally establish paternity. As the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families explains, you can do this in any of the following three ways:

  1. Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment
  2. Court determination
  3. Acknowledgement of a Marital Child

Voluntary acknowledgment is the easiest way to establish paternity. Assuming that both you and your child’s mother are 18 years old or older and you both agree that you are the father, you can both sign the VPA form and file it any time after your child is born. You can obtain one of these forms from any of the following people or places:

  • The hospital where your child is born
  • Your midwife if your child is born at home
  • Your local child support office
  • Your local Register of Deeds Office
  • The Wisconsin Vital Records Office

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