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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 County Criminal Defense AttorneyNo one likes to be the target of loud or obnoxious behavior from another person. But where is the legal line, and what are the potential penalties for going too far? In Wisconsin, depending on the severity and frequency of the offense, you may be charged with disorderly conduct, harassment, or stalking, with generally increasing severity of penalties. If you face any of these charges, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is essential.

Potential Charges for Obnoxious Behavior

Disorderly Conduct - If you are accused of conduct that is considered violent, indecent, boisterous, profane, or unreasonably loud, you may be charged with disorderly conduct. This can include shouting lewd things at people on the street or acting threateningly. Wisconsin law allows disorderly conduct to be charged if the behavior happened in a public or a private place. The penalty for being found guilty of disorderly conduct, a Class B misdemeanor, is a fine of up to $1,000 and a maximum of 90 days in jail.

Harassment - You can be charged with harassment by engaging in harassing or intimidating behavior towards an individual on more than one occasion. This can include threats of violence or actual physical contact. Basic harassment carries a fine of up to $1,000. If harassment is ruled to constitute a credible threat placing the other person in fear of bodily harm or death, it becomes a Class A misdemeanor, with fines of up to $10,000 and a maximum of nine months in jail. Violating a restraining order to conduct the harassment is also a Class A misdemeanor. Repeated harassment violations can result in felony charges.

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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 Defense Lawyer for BUIWhether you are speed boating in the expansive waters of Lake Michigan or fishing in a smaller lake or river, Wisconsin offers boating enthusiasts endless opportunities to spend time on the water. People often wait all year for the chance to spend summer days relaxing in their boats. Many people enjoy bringing alcohol onto their boat, and while responsible alcohol use can lead to great memories with family and friends, irresponsible use can lead to accidents, injuries, and charges of boating under the influence. If you have been charged with a BUI, it is essential to speak with a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your legal options. 

What are the Consequences of Boating Under the Influence? 

Although boating under the influence can carry less severe consequences than driving under the influence, charges are still serious, especially for repeat offenders. First time offenders face a fine between $150 and $300. Second offenses, however, face between five days and six months in jail and fines between $300 and $1,000. Punishments steadily increase for continued offenses and, if an accident involving serious bodily injury or death occurred while boating under the influence, the person responsible may face up to a year in prison, fines up to $2,000, and any other criminal or civil penalties associated with the accident (such as property damage, personal injury, etc.). 

Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer? 

No. If you are operating a motorboat in Wisconsin, you are automatically deemed to have given consent to test at least one sample, including breath, blood, or urine samples. Even if you are not using the boat’s motor at the time of the test, if the boat has a motor, you can be given a BUI. If your test results show a blood alcohol concentration above .08 percent or the presence of any restricted substance in your body, you may be charged with a BUI. Keep in mind that marijuana is not legal to use or possess in Wisconsin, even if it was purchased legally in another state. 

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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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