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What is included in separate property?

Wisconsin is one of only a handful of states that has laws on the books that govern the division of marital property, sometimes also referred to as community property. The laws of the other states leave it up to judges to determine equitable distribution on a case-by-case basis. 

What this means for you if you are seeking a divorce in Wisconsin is that the court will divide the property that you and your spouse hold in common according to the applicable laws of the state. According to FindLaw, however, not everything that you own, or that your spouse owns, is marital property in the eyes of the law. If you own possessions or assets that the law regards as separate property, they are not subject to the laws that govern the division of marital property. Examples of separate property include inheritances, gifts, separate bank accounts and personal injury proceeds. 

Do you have concerns about co-parenting with your ex?

Parenting is difficult even under the best of circumstances. No one can predict what the future will hold, and trying to stay on top of all of life's unexpected events while also raising children tests any parent. Now, you may feel as if your situation has become even more difficult because of your recent divorce.

You likely dreaded the child custody aspect of ending your marriage because you did not want to fight over your kids and did not want them to feel in the middle of any conflict. In the end, your custody order involved joint custody, and you are now trying to co-parent with your ex. Unfortunately, it is not going well.

What is a declaration of paternal interest?

If you father a child in Wisconsin, you have parental rights over that child. However, if you are not married to the mother of a child that you believe to be yours, you must take legal steps to assert your rights or face the possibility of their termination if the mother decides to put the child up for adoption. A declaration of parental interest, also known as a declaration of possible fatherhood, is the first step in the process of asserting your parental rights. 

According to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, a declaration of parental interest is not sufficient in itself to establish your parental rights. Regardless of whether you want to voluntarily terminate your parental rights or protect and establish them, additional action on your part is necessary.

Evaluating inaccuracies in breath test results

Taking a roadside breath test may be intimidating, especially if you have been pulled over by a law enforcement officer. Officers use breath test devices to measure a driver’s blood alcohol content level and determine if he or she is driving above the legal limit. Yet, inaccuracies in breath test device results may lead to wrongful DUI charges

Hand-held breath test devices work by measuring the amount of ethanol in an exhaled breath sample. When comparing the blood alcohol content results obtained from a breath test device to those obtained from an actual blood test, the results are alarming. The difference can vary by more than 15% in some cases. At least one in every four people who use a breath test device will have inflated results. 

Does divorce impact adult children?

As an older couple in Wisconsin that is considering divorce, you may believe that your adult children are well past the age where they might be seriously affected by it. However, it has been shown that no matter how old you or your children are, divorce can have a large negative impact.

Not only that, but The Guardian has actually shown that adult children tend to face unique hurdles that younger children of divorce do not have to worry about. For example, younger children tend to bounce back from big life changes with greater ease. They have more time to adjust to their new situation and will usually adapt better. Adult children, on the other hand, have known their family as it is for decades. It can be much harder for them to acknowledge that your divorce means the family dynamic will be changing.

What are age-appropriate ways to help children deal with divorce?

It is unavoidable that your divorce in Wisconsin will have an effect on your children. However, the way that your children react can vary depending on their ages. Younger children have difficulty understanding the rationale for the divorce even as they feel the increased tension between parents. Older children are more likely to side with one parent against the other or entertain fantasies of facilitating their parents' reconciliation. 

Fortunately, according to Parents Magazine, there are steps that you can take to ease the transition and help children adjust. Nevertheless, it is important that your efforts in this regard be age-appropriate. What is effective for a pre-teen may not work for a two-year-old, and vice versa. 

You can help yourself through divorce

Even under amicable circumstances, getting a divorce is not easy. A lot of work goes into separating two lives, including making child custody decisions and dividing property. Of course, as you prepare for your case, you likely already know that you will have a long road ahead of you.

Fortunately, you do not have to resign yourself to an unnecessarily difficult case. Certainly, you will need to put in a considerable amount of work no matter what, but you can also take steps to lessen the stress you experience and help your process move forward as smoothly as possible.

Coparenting and back-to-school planning

Wisconsin parents of school-aged children know that when the calendar flips to the month of August, going back to school is right around the corner. From backpacks to activity signups to packed lunches and more, the school year brings a unique set of demands and type of structure to a family's life. When children must live in two home due to their parents being divorced or separated, they need their parents to be able to work effectively together to make the transition back to school a smooth one and help the year run well.

Parents magazine suggests that moms and dads should collaborate on who will buy what supplies for their kids. For more major purchases like backpacks or jackets, it may be best to have just one of these items. For smaller things like markers and basic supplies, each parent might want to have a set at their own homes in addition to what is sent to school with their kids. This minimizes what must be remembered when moving between homes.

Charges in hot car deaths follow no predictable pattern

Finding one or more children dead after accidentally leaving them in a hot car is every parent's worst nightmare. Unfortunately, the parents of approximately three dozen children across the country, including Wisconsin, experience this nightmare every year. At the Mayer Law Office, we know that if you are a parent in this scenario, you are probably filled with feelings of shock and confusion. Adding to the confusion is the uncertainty of not knowing whether you will face criminal charges for your tragic mistake. 

According to the New York Times, prosecutors only about one-third of parents involved in the hot car death of a child. When authorities do press charges, some are misdemeanors like child endangerment, while others involve involuntary manslaughter and other felony counts. In approximately 11% of cases, the judge and jury do not convict the parent(s), and 43% of parents involved in hot car deaths never face any charges at all. 

Women, gray divorce and money

Residents in Wisconsin who get divorced often struggle to figure out way to rebuild their lives, both emotionally and financially. It is commonly acknowledged that divorce is a major and stressful event for anyone. Some research, however, is now showing that women who get divorced while in their 50s, 60s or later may experience particularly difficult financial problems that are even worse than those experienced by their male counterparts.

Yahoo Finance reported that a study has shown the rate of divorce among people over the age of 50 has more than doubled in the last 29 years. This has happened at the same time that the overall rate of divorce across the country has dropped. The impact of ending a marriage and splitting a marital estate at this point in one's life can be far more severe than it can for someone who is in their 20s, 30s or even their 40s. 

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