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wisconsin child custody lawyerThere are many different legal issues that will need to be addressed during a divorce, and for parents, child custody is likely to be one of the most important of these issues. When a couple’s relationship has broken down, and they no longer wish to remain married, it is understandable if either or both spouses are concerned about their ability to work together to raise their children. While parents will often do their best to set aside their differences and make sure that they will each play an important role in raising their children, there are some cases where a parent may believe that it would be best for one parent to have sole custody of their children. In these situations, parents in Wisconsin will need to understand how the state’s laws address sole and joint child custody.

Sole Custody and Physical Placement Under Wisconsin Law

There are two aspects of child custody addressed in Wisconsin’s divorce laws. Legal custody refers to a parent’s right and responsibility to make decisions about major issues in a child’s life. Physical placement refers to when a child will be in the physical control of a parent, during which the parent will have the right and responsibility to make routine decisions about the child’s care.

In most cases, Wisconsin law presumes that it is in a child’s best interests for parents to share joint legal custody. The only exception to this presumption is in cases involving domestic abuse. This means that most of the time, parents will be able to share in the rights and responsibilities of making decisions about how their child will be raised. However, sole custody may be granted to one parent in certain situations if a judge determines that doing so would be in the child’s best interests. These situations may include:

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drugged driving lawyerThe use of marijuana has become more acceptable in the United States over the past several years. Many people treat this substance the same as alcohol, considering it to be a relatively harmless recreational drug to be used in moderation. However, even though multiple states have made marijuana legal as either prescription medication or a recreational substance, it continues to be illegal in Wisconsin and at the federal level. Drivers in Wisconsin should be aware of the potential consequences they may face if they are arrested for OWI/DUI based on their use of marijuana.

“Driving While High” in Wisconsin

Since marijuana can have intoxicating effects similar to alcohol, those who drive while under the influence of this substance could be pulled over by a police officer and arrested for Operating While Intoxicated (OWI). However, there are a few differences between OWI cases involving alcohol and those involving marijuana.

Wisconsin law recognizes a legal limit for the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that a driver can have before being considered intoxicated. If a driver has had one or two drinks, their BAC may be below .08 percent, making it legal for them to drive. However, Wisconsin law does not have a legal limit for marijuana. In fact, the law states that it is illegal for a person to drive with any detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance in their blood.

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Waukesha County Divorce LawyerIt is not uncommon for there to be a number of disagreements between a couple who is going through a divorce. While there are often personal issues lingering that caused the divorce to begin with, the couple must now decide how their married life will be divided – including child custody, division of marital assets and debt, child support, and more. This can result in even more disagreements and acrimony. Unfortunately, in many cases, even after the divorce has long been finalized, one spouse may still refuse to comply with the court’s orders. In these situations, the other spouse can seek the assistance of a Milwaukee County family law attorney in taking the legal steps to enforce the court’s orders.

Enforcing a Court Order

The final divorce agreement that the judge signs off on should specify how the couple’s assets and debts will be distributed, how child custody and parenting time will be shared, and how much – if any – child support and/or spousal support will be paid. Each spouse is legally required to obey this order. If either one fails to follow the order, they can be held in contempt of court.

In order for the court to hold that spouse in contempt, the spouse who is seeking the order must first file a petition with the court that issued the divorce decree. The court will then schedule a hearing where the spouse who filed the petition will present their evidence. The other spouse will also have an opportunity to defend themselves against the petition and argue why they should not be held in contempt.

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Waukesha County Criminal Defense AttorneyIn 2020, the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Division of Forensic Sciences reported the average time it took the state’s crime lab to process DNA evidence analysis was 94 days. Although this was a slight decrease from the prior year, it was still significantly longer than the 76 days it took in 2017. These types of delays can cause the wheels of justice to turn very slowly for a defendant, but how does it affect a defendant’s constitutional right to a speedy trial?

DNA Testing

Whenever police collect evidence that needs to be tested, that evidence is sent to one of the three state crimes labs. According to the lab’s Administrator for the Division of Forensic Sciences, almost all of the evidence their department receives are for felony charges. The process usually involves a “first-come-first-serve basis,” although there are situations where evidence may be able to get pushed to the front of the line, such as when there is a public safety threat or there is a jury trial scheduled.

Until the evidence for a case has been processed by the lab, the criminal justice process cannot proceed. Although a defendant can be charged with a crime, there can be no trial until the evidence testing results have been returned. This means that a pending charge can hang over a defendant’s head for months on end with no timely resolution.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1220724925-min.jpgSeveral years ago, a California woman made national news when she was able to collect $150,000 in back child support almost 50 years after her ex-husband fled the country in order to avoid paying his court-ordered obligation. Since there is no statute of limitations on back child support, the case sent a message to deadbeat parents everywhere that eventually, the delinquency can catch up to them. If you are having trouble collecting child support, a Waukesha County family lawyer can help.

Time to Pay Up

According to the woman in the California case, when the couple broke up in the early 1970s, her ex-husband fled to Canada in order to get out of paying child support for their then 3-year-old daughter. He had been ordered to pay $160 a month until the child reached 21. The woman raised their daughter on her own, never receiving any financial help from the child’s father.

Fifty years later, the woman decided it was time to see if she could track down the father. She discovered he was back in the U.S. and living in Oregon. She took the original support order and headed to an attorney’s office. Decades ago, the amount owed to the woman totaled approximately $35,000, but with 10 percent accrued interest, the amount owed to her was close to $170,000. The woman’s attorney was able to negotiate a settlement for $150,000, which the court approved, and the woman finally received her long-overdue child support.

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