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Waukesha County family lawyerA Wisconsin divorce becomes even more stressful when there are children involved, especially if you and your spouse strongly disagree about what is best for them. The idea of losing custody of your children is devastating to even think about. Although navigating through a custody battle may not always be easy, you can take steps to increase your chances of a positive outcome.

Tips For Securing Custody of Your Children

In order to achieve the best possible result in your custody case, you must prove to the court that you are responsible and a good role model to your kids. Here are a few tips to help you maintain custody.

  • Make your children a top priority. Wisconsin courts prioritize a child’s best interests when making custody decisions. You should do everything you can to demonstrate your commitment as a parent. Always arrive on time for visits and be there to support your children.

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Oconomowoc Divorce attorney divorce

When you get married, you expect to be with that person for the rest of your life and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, that kind of fairytale love does not come around very often. In many cases, couples end up succumbing to divorce and end up having to split all of their assets that they acquired during the marriage. Wisconsin follows a rule of equal division, which means that a couple’s marital property is divided in half in most cases.  which simply means that the judge will make a decision based on the facts surrounding the case. Some of the most contested issues are those dealing with finances. If you are close to retirement age, you may be concerned with how your retirement plans will be affected. Thankfully, dividing retirement accounts in Wisconsin can be completed with little to no damages. 

Determining if Retirement Accounts Are Marital or Nonmarital Property

In Wisconsin, the first thing you should do before dividing your assets is to determine which assets are subject to division. Any property that either spouse brings into the marriage, along with a few exceptions for property acquired during the marriage, is not subject to division and will remain that spouse’s property. Exclusions from the marital property include any property that was acquired as a gift, property that was acquired because of death or inheritance, or any funds that come about as a result of such property.

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Waukesha, WI family law attorneysMany times, couples do not jump directly from being married to getting divorced. In most cases, a couple who is unhappy with their marriage will go through a period of separation before they file for divorce, even if that separation is not legally recognized. While this can be a good way for couples to determine whether or not they are actually ready for a divorce, it can also be a very important period of time for the couple’s finances. In Wisconsin, marital property is divided using “community property” theories. This means that each spouse is entitled to half of the marital estate, but that the marital estate is composed of all assets that either spouse owns, regardless of when they acquired that asset. Because there are such high stakes when it comes time to divide your property during a divorce, managing your finances prior to that is crucial. If you are currently separated from your spouse but are planning on filing for divorce, here are a few things you should keep in mind during your separation period:

  • Understand that your living situation will likely change. Many people do not want to come to terms with it, but after you are divorced, your standard of living is very likely going to change. Many households are dual-income households, meaning both partners work, allowing them to have a lifestyle that cannot usually be maintained with one income.

  • Put together and follow a post-divorce budget. Because of this, it is important that you begin to plan for your finances after your divorce is completed. Putting together a budget not only gives you an idea of how much you will need each month to live, but it can also help you understand what your bare minimum needs are when negotiating property division with your spouse. 

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Muskego divorce attorney spousal maintenance

In many marriages, it is not uncommon to have some degree of inequality when it comes to the education, career, or income between the spouses. In many households, one spouse is considered the “breadwinner” while the other spouse’s income is considered supplementary. When you get divorced, those two incomes are no longer combined and both spouses must live off their own incomes. However, this is not always fair to both spouses, which is where spousal support comes in. Spousal maintenance payments can be awarded to a spouse if the couple agrees upon an amount or if the judge deems maintenance to be necessary. However, the amount of maintenance that is originally ordered is not always the correct amount that is needed over time. In some cases, you may be able to ask for a modification to your spousal maintenance order.

Awarding Spousal Maintenance Payments

When a couple gets a divorce in Wisconsin, they have the option to agree on a spousal maintenance amount. Spousal maintenance is not a guarantee in any divorce, though the judge will examine a variety of factors when deciding if maintenance is necessary, including:

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