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Waukesha family law attorneysFrom the physical and mental health of both parents to the wishes of the children, family law judges look at a number of factors before making custody and visitation decisions. They may also consider a parent’s use of drugs or alcohol because frequent use of these substances can impact a parent’s ability to take care of a child. If you are trying to gain custody of your children, but have a history of substance abuse, you should enlist the help of a Wisconsin family lawyer.

How a Judge May Respond to Parental Substance Abuse

Judges do not take alcohol or drug abuse in custody battles lightly. Parents who abuse these substances often neglect to give their children what they need. They may also put their kids’ lives in danger. For example, if a parent is heavily drunk and forgets to turn off the stovetop, it can increase the risk of a fire in the house. Judges want to prevent these sorts of incidents from occurring, so they are weary about awarding custody to parents with substance abuse issues.

If a judge hears an allegation that a parent is abusing drugs or alcohol, he or she will fully investigate that claim. A judge will typically have the accused parent take a drug test. If illegal drugs are found in the parent’s system, the court may award custody to the other parent.

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Waukesha County family law attorney parenting plan

After the excitement of Christmas has settled and the year finally comes to a close, many people use this time to reflect on the past 365 days and how they can improve themselves. The majority of people end up going with the ever-popular New Year’s resolution, whose goals range widely, from living a healthier lifestyle to spending more time with family. For recently divorced or separated parents, the beginning of a new year is as good a time as any to make a commitment to be the best parent you can be. Making a plan and sticking to it can be an effective way to improve your co-parenting relationship with your child’s other parent. Here are a few strategies and tips for the New Year to help you and your co-parent work together, rather than against one another:

  • Keep your conversations focused around the children. One of the most difficult things to do after the divorce is to separate your feelings about the divorce from your attitude and behavior when it comes to co-parenting. Instead of focusing on the pain or negatives, stay focused on what matters -- your children. Remember, everything you do when it comes to co-parenting should be for your kids, with their best interests in mind.

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Oconomowoc divorce attorney parenting plan

Often, one of the primary concerns of parents before and during a divorce is how the process will affect their children. Getting a divorce is a stressful process that can affect the entire family, especially the kids. The divorce process is never easy for anyone, but it can actually be rather difficult for children to cope with because they are not as emotionally mature as adults. However, multiple studies have found that it is not the divorce itself that gives children problems or anxiety. Rather, it is the stress and tension that comes with a divorce that can cause lasting issues. If you are going through a divorce and you have children, you should speak with a Wisconsin divorce lawyer before you make any decisions.

Tips for Dealing With Your Children and Divorce

There have been many studies conducted on the effects of divorce on children, however, there has never been a direct correlation drawn between divorce, in general, and negative outcomes. However, studies have determined that most of the detrimental effects associated with divorce arise from divorces that are riddled with conflict and constantly exposing the children to it. Every parent who goes through a divorce wants what is best for their kids. Here are a few tips to help you protect your children during your divorce:

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New Berlin child custody attorney

One of the biggest fears that parents have when ending their marriage is how divorce will affect their children. Fortunately, most children whose parents get divorced grow up to be happy, successful, and well-adjusted adults. Studies have shown that children of divorce are relatively unaffected by the event as long as they are exposed to marital conflict as little as possible. In order to promote cooperation, Wisconsin courts require parents to attend mediation to try to create a parenting plan before appearing before a judge. If mediation fails or would be inappropriate, then you will need to go to court, where a judge will determine a parenting plan for you. However, if you and your co-parent are able to negotiate a plan among yourselves, this is even more beneficial.

Elements of a Parenting Plan

Every couple that is getting a divorce and has a minor child in the state of Wisconsin is required to file a parenting plan with the court and have it approved by the judge prior to the divorce being finalized. A parenting plan is a legal document that outlines all of the parental duties that each spouse has, especially in regard to legal custody and parenting time (visitation). Other things that should be included in a parenting plan can be information such as:

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New Berlin divorce attorney parental alienation

Divorce is never easy for anyone, but for a child, coping with a divorce can be more difficult than it is for other members of the family. This is especially true for divorces that involve a lot of conflict or disagreements between the spouses. In high-conflict divorces, everyone feels the effects of the split, especially a child. In some cases, a parent may even use a son or daughter to his or her advantage during the divorce by pitting the child against their soon-to-be-ex spouse. Parental alienation is a serious issue present in some contentious divorces that can not only cause issues during the divorce process but can have lasting effects on the relationship between the child and his or her parents.

What Is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation occurs when one parent uses various strategies and methods to isolate his or her child from the other parent and attempts to sabotage or harm the relationship between them. Most of the time, this type of behavior is intentional by the acting parent and is intended to “get back at” or hurt the other parent. While parental alienation is aimed at harming the other parent, the child becomes collateral damage and can suffer emotional and mental distress and other long-term effects.

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