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The rights of grandparents who provide kinship care

At Mayer Law Office LLC, we understand that custodial battles in Wisconsin can be difficult. Often times, the media focuses on custodial battles between separated or divorced parents. However, there are many grandparents also struggling to ensure their grandkids are able to live a happy, healthy and normal life under their care.

If you are a grandparent in this position, you have probably often wondered whether or not the law is on your side. While courts may often favor biological parents when it comes to custodial rights, grandparents are often awarded temporary and even permanent care of children. According to, this is called kinship care.

The consequences of probation violation

If the judge in your criminal matter sentenced you to probation instead of jail time, you and your family were likely relieved. Incarceration can devastate your life and jeopardize your job, your finances and your relationships. Many also find spending time behind bars changes them for the worse and does not always provide them with opportunities they may need to improve their lives or get back on the right track.

Probation, on the other hand, is an alternative to jail. While you may not stay in jail, you will have certain restrictions and obligations. Failing to abide by the terms of your probation is a violation that can result in serious consequences.

What is due process?

As Americans, we have many rights that the government cannot take away from us. The government and its representatives, including law enforcement, must observe are basic rights as outlined by law. Specifically, the rights given to us in the U.S. Constitution are of the most highly regarded rights we have. If law enforcement places you under arrest in Wisconsin, they have to make sure to take your rights into consideration in everything they do.

According to, the right to have the law applied fairly and equally to all people is of utmost importance when it comes to an arrest or criminal charge. This is the right to due process. You have probably heard of it before. People discuss it all the time. You will also find this right mentioned in the constitution in the 5th and 14th Amendments.

Factors that can impact child custody

Wisconsin parents going through the divorce process will likely have a lot of questions about how their behavior and history can impact their chances of gaining custody of their child. There are actually a lot of things that can and will be under scrutiny, and it's important to know what they are.

VeryWell Family takes a careful look at what can impact a person's chances of gaining primary custody of children during a custody dispute. Some of the things that are commonly thought of include:

  • Family history
  • Ties between the parent and children
  • The child's own opinion if they are old enough
  • A caretaker's ability to provide a stable home and care

The importance of establishing paternity

It can be challenging for a Wisconsin man who wishes to take an active role in his child’s life if he and the mother are no longer together. If you and your child’s mother were not married at the time of the birth, you must have paternity established before petitioning for joint custody or visitation rights.  At the Mayer Law Office, LLC, we often represent clients who wish to have parenting time with their child.

According to the state’s Department of Children and Families, paternity is the legal way of saying you are the child’s father. Establishing paternity allows you to have your name put on the birth record as a legal parent. In doing so, your son or daughter gains special rights:

  • Health insurance
  • Inheritance rights
  • Child Support
  • Social security benefits
  • Access to your health history if necessary

Is your spouse lying about their assets?

Divorcing Wisconsin couples like you and your spouse have to go through the process of dividing your assets. In many cases, joint assets are split equally and tempers can run hot. Your spouse may also be asked to pay for alimony. However, in these cases, they may decide to hide assets instead. Mayer Law Office, LLC, is here to help if you think that may be the case for you.

People going through a divorce will primarily hide assets because they want to pay less, or give up less to their soon-to-be ex-partner. If they have fewer assets, they will have to give you less in the division. They may also be able to get their alimony payment lowered because it seems like they have less to give than they do.

How do you appeal a conviction?

As a resident in Wisconsin who is facing a potential wrong conviction, you may not know much about appeals or where to begin with the process. At Mayer Law Office, LLC, we will help you and give you information you need to deal with appealing.

First of all, courts don't always get everything right. Wrongful convictions do happen, and you could end up facing penalties for a crime you didn't commit. Fortunately, appellate courts in Wisconsin can and have overturned both improper sentences and wrongful convictions.

Wisconsin women at risk for financial problems in gray divorce

As in most other states, many Wisconsin marriages will end in divorce this year. If yours is one of them, you may worry about numerous issues, especially finances. Perhaps you set your career aside when you were younger so that you could stay home and raise a family, as so many other spouses did. Thinking back, you might agree with those who say they wouldn't have changed it for the world.

Now, as you head to court for a late-life divorce, you might find yourself thinking about money issues a lot more than usual. If you opened your own bank account or took other steps during marriage to establish financial independence, you might find it easier to adapt to your post-divorce lifestyle. However, if you are a woman over the age of 55, you have a 27 percent chance of living at or below the nation's poverty level after a divorce. To avoid serious financial crisis, you'll want to build a strong support system.

Possible changes to Wisconsin OWI law

The year 2015 saw 190 people killed in Wisconsin as a result of alcohol-related car crashes. Two state legislators are trying to decrease that number by passing a law that makes first-offense drunk driving a criminal offense rather than a civil violation. 

Currently, drivers cited for a first-time OWI face possible license revocation and fines of approximately $1,000. However, because the offense is not a crime, a first-time OWI is not currently a cause for worry about potential jail time or a criminal record. The new law would change that, if passed, by making first-time OWI a misdemeanor punishable by 30 days in jail and up to $500 in fines. 

Tax law affecting alimony takes effect in 2019

Couples divorcing in Wisconsin in 2019 may experience challenges in reaching an agreement thanks to a new provision of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which took effect as of January 1st. The law affects how the federal government taxes alimony payments. 

As BNY Mellon Wealth Management points out, the law does not affect existing settlements but only those agreements executed on or after Jan. 1st, 2019. That does not mean, however, that the law automatically applies to divorces finalized after January 1st. If the couple filed a written separation agreement on or before Dec. 31st, 2018, the law will grandfather them in and the previous tax rules regarding alimony payments will still apply. However, for those affected, the change will remain in place unless Congress takes future action to reverse it, unlike many other provisions of the law which have a built-in expiration date.

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