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Waukesha Family Legal Blog

End-of-year tax changes can affect gray divorcees

At the end of 2017, the federal government passed a massive tax overhaul that had repercussions for many areas of American life. However, those that affect Wisconsin men and women going through divorce are not set to take hold until the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 1, 2019. One of those changes can have a big effect on later-in-life divorcees.

At present, individuals who pay alimony are allowed to write those payments off of their taxes. But, this is about to change. Under the new tax laws, payers of alimony must pay taxes on these sums and individuals who receive alimony will not have to declare their received payments as income. Readers may wonder: how will this shift affect parties to gray divorces?

Understanding visitation in a child custody plan

A recent post on this Wisconsin family law blog introduced readers to the two main forms of custody that parents may retain in the wake of a divorce. These two forms are legal custody and physical custody. While legal custody involves a parent's power to make decisions about their child's life, physical custody involves the right of a parent to have their child live in their home.

If a parent is denied physical custody of their child they may have concerns over when and how they will be able to spend time with their son or daughter. Without the right to have a child live in their home a parent may fear that their bond with their child will be quickly eroded. In situations where a parent will not have physical custody of their child they may be able to secure visitation rights to protect their parent-child relationship.

What exactly is a collaborative divorce?

Few people like being told what to do. This is true for children when it comes to doing what their parents say, and this can also be true for adults who wish to exercise the freedom and autonomy they desire to solve their problems on their own terms. However, when it comes to legal processes, many Wisconsin residents accept that the outcomes of their cases will be determined by the rulings of the courts that hear their matters.

This does not always have to be the case, though. When it comes to divorce, Wisconsin residents can elect to take matters into their own hands and to pursue collaborative divorce. A collaborative divorce may help the parties to the ending marriage to keep the power to decide important issues in their own hands and out of the control of a judge who has been assigned to their case.

What to know about filing taxes after divorce

Divorce typically brings about considerable change, and you may find that your life is full of major transitions in the immediate aftermath of your split. Your living situation, your time with your children and your daily schedule are just a few of the things your divorce may impact, but it is also important that you consider just how splitting from your spouse will affect your taxes.

Once your divorce becomes official, there are several important things to note about how your new marital status will factor in when it comes time to file your taxes. If you are getting ready to file for the first time since divorce, know that:

Divorce is not just a young person's problem

Practically everyone has heard that one-half of all American marriages end in divorce. This often used but rarely substantiated statistic is often the subject of debate among Wisconsin residents, and though its absolute truth may be in question its representation about the long-term status of marriage is spot on: divorce is common among Americans.

It is not just young people who are seeking to end their marriages. Men and women who are well into their careers and who have children that have grown up and left their homes are also active in the divorce courts as they work to end their legal relationships. While older divorcees do not have to contend with child custody and support matters as often as their younger counterparts they do have their own difficulties to overcome.

Factors that are considered in determining child support awards

In Wisconsin the courts apply certain guidelines to child support determinations. For example, if a Waukesha parent does not have physical custody and shares two children with their ex then that parent may have to pay 25 percent of their income for the financial support of their kids. When computing their income the courts can look to many sources including but not limited to their wages, salaries, benefits from workers' compensation, military service and others, retirement accounts and investment tools.

However, not all cases follow the straight percentages set forth in the guidelines. Certain factors may force courts to deviate from the standard awards the guidelines suggest and those factors can concern either the parents who will pay support or the children who will receive it.

How can I show that I am the father of a child?

Whether a child's parents are married at the time that the child comes into the world can have a lot of bearing on whether a man is considered a child's presumptive father. For example, in many jurisdictions a marriage between the child's parents that occurred before the child's birth will create a legal presumption that the husband is the father of the wife's child. When the parents are not married at the child's birth then this presumption is not created.

After a child's birth a Wisconsin man has several options for showing that he is a child's father. He may voluntarily acknowledge that he is a child's father and if the mother agrees they may execute a special form that creates a legal relationship between the child and man and paternal rights in the man to care for and provide for his child.

A review of child custody matters for Wisconsin families

A divorce is difficult for the parties who end their marriage but it can also be incredibly tough on their kids. Even when their parents are willing to work together to make the transition as easy as possible, kids can experience stress over the breakdown of their families. This post will address some important child custody topics for Wisconsin families and what they can do to help their kids with the many issues that come with divorce.

First, as in other jurisdictions there are two main forms of custody that may affect Wisconsin parents and kids. The first is physical custody and it covers where a child will live after their parents end their marriage. Parents can share physical custody of their child or one parent may be awarded sole physical custody.

Why is paternity important in family law matters?

When a mother delivers a baby into the world it is very clear that the parent and child share a biological connection. Whether she delivers at home, in a hospital or in a different location a Wisconsin mother's identity is generally easy to identify as she has to present when her child enters the world. However, if a mother is not in a relationship with her baby's father or if she is unsure of who the father of her child is, knowing who the child's second parent is can be much less obvious.

When the identity of a child's father is in question a paternity test may be ordered to provide clarity on the issue. A paternity test checks the genetic material of a child against that of a man to see if they are biologically related. If there are sufficient similarities between the child's genetic sample and the man's genetic sample then a paternal relationship may be established.

Problems with social media and divorce

Social media has brought a lot of good to the world, but it also creates strife. Research suggests social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, can create problems in people's marriages because it can have an addictive quality and pave the way to extramarital affairs.

Regardless of the role, social media played in your marriage; it is important to be aware of how it can affect a divorce. You need to be cautious about what you post regardless, but during a divorce, everything about your personal life can come to the court's attention. You do not want to make it easy for the other side to learn everything about you. Additionally, social media can make an already stressful time even harder. 

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