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Brookfield, Wisconsin Family Law AttorneyWhile your divorce may be the best decision for you and your spouse, children and teens may react in different ways depending on their emotional level, their age, and even the situation in the house at the time of the divorce. Most children will adjust to the new situation over time, but they will still go through a range of emotions and behaviors. Here are some of the more common ways that children will react to the news of their parents’ divorce.

Shock, sadness, and disappointment – Children often feel overcome and blindsided by a divorce. They may get emotional and feel you betrayed them. You can let them know that it is natural to be sad, but reassure them that they will be okay, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.

Relief - If your marriage had been rocky and the children were subject to hearing loud arguments on a regular basis, they may feel relieved that they may get a break from a stressful environment.

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Waukesha Divorce LawyersAs divorce among those 50 and older becomes more common, questions about post-retirement finances take on greater importance during the division of marital assets. One of the most important of these assets is retirement savings accounts, including pensions. You may have been relying on your spouse’s pension as a major source of your retirement savings. An experienced divorce attorney can help you determine how much of a pension you may be entitled to and what your options moving forward are.

Pension Division in a Wisconsin Divorce

During a marriage in Wisconsin, most property, assets, and other wealth that the couple accumulates is considered marital property. Since Wisconsin is a community property state, if the couple gets divorced, the property will be divided between the two spouses. This includes assets such as pensions. Whatever percent of the pension that your spouse accumulated while you were married would be subject to division. If your spouse began working and earning the pension after you were married, the entire pension would be considered marital property and subject to division.

The value of the pension must be determined by an actuary before it can be divided. Additionally, spouses can negotiate exactly how the pension will be divided. The spouses could choose to each receive their share of the pension directly. This requires a QDRO, or Qualified Domestic Relations Order to avoid any early withdrawal or tax penalties. The second option is for the spouse who earned the pension to buy out the other spouse’s share of the pension. This can be accomplished by using their portion of other marital assets, including the marital home, vehicles, or other financial options.

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Waukesha, WI Divorce LawyerDuring a divorce, one of the more important and potentially contentious issues is ongoing payments from one spouse to the other. Spousal maintenance, also known as spousal support or alimony, is designed to allow a spouse who was not employed or brought in less income than their partner to maintain their standard of living after a divorce. In the state of Wisconsin, judges have wide latitude on how to grant maintenance payments and to determine how long they will last. It is important to work with an attorney who can make sure that the money you are receiving, or the amount you are ordered to pay, is appropriate.

Factors for Maintenance Payments

While there is no set formula to determine maintenance payments or duration in Wisconsin, judges largely base their order on the following factors:

  • Length of marriage - The longer the duration of your marriage, the more likely support payments will be granted

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Waukesha WI Divorce LawyerIn our last blog, we looked at signs that could indicate you may be headed for a high-conflict divorce in Wisconsin. However, even in situations where spouses fought continuously before deciding to get divorced, there are steps that can be taken during the divorce process to reduce conflict. By the time you talk to a divorce attorney, ending your relationship may be inevitable, but a quarrelsome divorce does not have to be. 

Stay Off Social Media

The tendency to share every aspect of our lives on social media might be nice when it comes to pictures of your kids and your home renovations, but airing your dirty laundry when you are in the midst of a divorce is a terrible idea. Not only does it make your friends and family uncomfortable, but it can antagonize relationships with your soon-to-be ex, their family, and your mutual friends. This can lead to further conflict, as your ex may try to document your social media behavior and use it against you during divorce proceedings. Generally speaking, the less social media activity during divorce, the better. 

Communicate Carefully

Placing your children in the middle of your conflict with your spouse can have a seriously detrimental effect on them. Using the kids to communicate often backfires because it prevents you from talking directly and effectively with your spouse. One of the most beneficial strategies you can use to reduce conflict is to have an email account that is intended exclusively for communication related to the divorce. If you must talk to your spouse, do it through the designated email address; this allows you to think before responding, keep records of communication, and avoid in-the-moment escalation that can happen very easily on the phone or by text message. 

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Waukesha County Divorce LawyerCertain types of behaviors can make someone very difficult to be married to. Blaming others, black-and-white thinking, lack of ability to take responsibility for one’s actions and consequences, and a tendency to engage in risky behaviors are all associated with high-conflict relationships. Unfortunately, these behaviors tend to get worse during divorce and people who were unable to manage conflict during a marriage are likely to be hostile and difficult to work with in a divorce. Here are five behaviors from your spouse that could indicate you may be headed towards a high-conflict divorce in Milwaukee County. 

Your Spouse Has to Be Right All the Time

Everybody likes to be right, but when one partner always insists on being correct and never apologizes for their mistakes or shortcomings, divorce can be very difficult. A crucial part of divorce is compromise, which includes admitting that the other person’s perspective is legitimate and worth consideration. If your spouse cannot do this during your marriage, they are unlikely to start doing so during divorce. 

Your Spouse is Dishonest

Hiding things, cheating, telling white lies for no reason - all of these are warning signs that a peaceable divorce is not in the cards for you. Clear communication and timely information trading are important parts of divorce, and when attorneys cannot get information from their clients because clients are trying to hide things, divorce can take much longer and be more hostile. Spouses with unstable personalities may have difficulty sticking with one attorney, or may exhibit other erratic and dishonest behaviors that protract divorce and make negotiation difficult or impossible. 

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