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Your ex can’t tell you how to spend child support

Child support is often a hot topic for divorced parents, as we understand at the Mayer Law Office, LLC. You may have trouble making ends meet even when you receive child support, and your ex might have a lot of opinions on how you should spend the money. Your ex may use the excuse that paying child support gives him or her the right to tell you what to use it for. However, you and other Wisconsin residents who receive child support have more freedom regarding the money than you may believe.

First off, you do not need to let your ex dictate your child support spending, no matter how intimidating he or she might be. As FindLaw explains, the court allows custodial parents to use their own judgment regarding child support funds. As you know, the money is meant for the well-being of your children, but you can decide how best to spend it for their benefit.

Understanding Wisconsin's marijuana laws

Many people are likely aware that in many states, marijuana has been legalized. This substance is still illegal in Wisconsin, however, so it is important for people to understand the penalties of possessing marijuana.

According to NORML.org, Wisconsin law considers marijuana to be a Schedule 1 hallucinogenic substance. The first time someone is caught with marijuana, he or she may need to pay a $1,000 fine and be imprisoned for six months. This first incident is typically considered a misdemeanor. If people are found with this substance again, the fine can reach up to $10,000. Further cases of marijuana possession are usually considered felonies and some people may find they face a prison sentence of up to three and a half years. Growing marijuana also carries a stiff penalty. This offense is usually a felony and the length of imprisonment generally depends on how many plants a person cultivated. If someone grew four plants, he or she may be imprisoned for three and a half years. People who grow between 20 and 50 plants typically face a 10-year jail sentence, while someone may be imprisoned for up to 15 years if he cultivated 200 or more plants. People who grow marijuana may also need to pay a fine. This usually ranges from $10,000 to $50,000.

What are the adoption requirements in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin couples like you who want to adopt a child likely understand that there are plenty of things you need to consider before you adopt. One of these things are the set of requirements that you need to meet before you can even be considered eligible to apply for adopting a child.

American Adoptions lists out the adoption requirements for the state of Wisconsin, as each state has its own set. This first set of requirements are considered the absolute minimum. That means you need to meet all of them to be considered able to adopt. This list includes:

  • Being 21 or over
  • Having enough space and funds for a child
  • Passing background checks
  • Being in good mental and physical health
  • Completing adoption training
  • Being capable of providing a nurturing and safe environment

Scenarios in which changes to a parenting plan may be necessary

Going through the end of a marriage can be a stressful experience, and the outcome of the situation could have a significant impact on your life. During divorce, you likely faced a variety of difficult decisions concerning your future, especially if you and your former spouse have children together.

As protecting your children was probably a top priority, you may have placed a great deal of importance on negotiating an amicable and acceptable parenting plan. However, as time goes by, the needs of you and your children may change, and modifications to the original agreement might become necessary.

How should we tell our kids about a divorce?

If you are the parent of a minor child in Wisconsin and you and your spouse have decided you will be getting divorced, one of the many things weighing heavily on your mind now may be how and when you should tell your children. A divorce affects not just the spouses but the children and other family members as well. Your kids' everyday lives will change and they will need you to guide them through the process. 

As recommended by Parents Magazine, one of the things you should do is take some time to rehearse what you will say at the start of your conversation. Keeping all information factual and age appropriate will also be important. If you and your spouse are able to have a family meeting with your parents, this can be a good way to tell your children about the changes together and help position the two of you as still a united front in parenting your joint children.

What is a stepparent adoption?

When you think of adoption, you may think of a family adopting a child that is not biologically related and whom they have had no previous relationship. However, this is not the only type of adoption in Wisconsin. Step parent adoption, as explained by the Department of Children and Families, is when a step parent adopts a step child. This is very common and happens all the time.

This type of adoption is most likely to happen when one parent remarries and the other parent helps to raise the child. The family bond is created and the child starts to look at the step parent as his or her mother or father. In most cases, the other biological parent is no longer in the child's life. In fact, for a legal step parent adoption, the rights of one biological parent have to be terminated. In most cases, the termination is voluntary and the parent gives up his or her rights. This must happen before the case can move forward.

How is custody of children determined in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, there are a number of different ways in which matters of child custody are handled. Mayer Law Office, LLC, will help you understand what a court will take into consideration when deciding who to grant custody of your children to.

Generally speaking, when the court awards custody, they're looking at a few different factors. Depending on how old your child is, the court may take their opinion into consideration. This can include their preference, their bonds with both parents, and any potential allegations of neglect or abuse in a household.

What should you know about property settlements?

As someone going through a divorce in Wisconsin, there are a lot of legal matters that you're likely to have questions about. Issues related to property can be particularly hard to handle. The Mayer Law Office, LLC, is here to help walk you through all aspects of your divorce, making it a little easier to manage.

Division of property is usually handled in one of three ways. You can take the matter to the court and have a judicial decree made, you can make an agreement on the division with your spouse alone, or you can divide your assets through a property settlement. The latter is a form of written agreement that allows you to handle who will get what after your divorce is finalized.

Different types of child custody are possible post divorce

During divorce, one of the hardest decisions you may have to make is who will have custody of the children. Unfortunately, child custody remains one of the most contentious aspects of many divorce proceedings involving minor children.

Many people going through divorce have a general understanding of child custody, but they may not necessarily realize that many different kinds of custody exist. Here is a glimpse at the various child custody types in Wisconsin.

Remarriages, gray divorces and finances

As divorce no longer carries with it the shameful stigma that it once had, most people in Wisconsin know someone who has been divorced. Similarly, most people know someone in a second or subsequent marriage. As more people have gotten divorced and then remarried, some of them have or may be getting divorced yet again.

MarketWatch recently reported on the unique financial pitfalls that a divorce for a remarried person might come with. In a first marriage for both spouses, property division and other settlements may be less messy than in a remarriage especially if there are children from prior relationships and maybe even children from the new marriage. The financial obligations that each spouse might have may dramatically limit or change the ultimate divorce settlement pretty dramatically.

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