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Waukesha Family Legal Blog

Modifications of child support orders may be possible

Even when their marriages end in divorce, parents are still expected to fulfill their parental obligations to their children. This can mean serving as a custodial parent, providing children with love and support, and ensuring that those children have the financial stability they require to live their lives. Wisconsin parents can be ordered to pay child support for the benefit of their kids, and those orders carry with them the weight of judicial power.

If a parent is unable to, or chooses not to, make child support payments, then they may be subjected to enforcement efforts. These efforts can include, but are not limited to, the garnishment of the payer's wages, the withholding of their tax returns, and even contempt charges. Generally, a parent who has a history of delinquencies will be pursued through enforcement efforts.

How can paternity be established in Wisconsin?

Fatherhood is an important role that many men look forward to taking on. While some may have months to prepare for the birth of their child, others may learn that they are fathers only after their kids come into the world. In Wisconsin, there are three ways that a man may be established as the legal father of a child.

One of the most straightforward ways for a man to be legally recognized as a child's father is through the execution of a voluntary paternity acknowledgement. This document is used after a baby is born and when a child's mother is certain of the identity of the child's father. Both of the child's parents are required to sign the acknowledgement to make the father recognized as such.

Making changes to a child custody plan

When a Wisconsin couple finalizes its divorce, the parties will be issued a divorce decree from the court. This decree will set forth all of the decisions that have been finalized regarding the marriage dissolution and can, depending upon the needs of the parties, cover property settlements, support payments, and child custody. While some these decrees withstand the test of time and never need to be changed, others require modifications to ensure that the parties and their kids are provided with what they need.

When it comes to modifying a child custody order or plan, courts will generally look at what the parties want to do and how those changes will affect the best interests of the kids who are subject to the outcomes. Different families will have different needs, and as such it is important that individuals get case-specific advice on how to address their needs for post-divorce child custody decisions.

Prepare for a successful divorce mediation process

Divorce is an extensive process that can be quite stressful. However, there are certain options that can make the process smoother, such as mediation.

There are certain advantages to utilizing mediation during a divorce. To fully access those benefits, it is a good idea to prepare for the mediation process properly.

Understand the different paths available for divorce

The word "divorce" can invoke negative feelings and fear even in Wisconsin residents who have never had to go through the process. That is because most people think of divorce as a confrontational and hostile process that pits former partners against each other in an antagonistic legal spectacle. While some divorces unfortunately follow this hostile path, readers should be aware that not every divorce must be difficult.

That is because in Wisconsin individuals can elect to use collaboration to bring their marriages to their ends. As prior posts on this divorce and family law blog have mentioned, collaborative divorces allow divorcing parties to work together to find acceptable solutions to their end-of-marriage differences. Rather than putting a judge in charge of dividing up their property and deciding where their kids should live, partners to an ending marriage take control of their futures and make choices about how best to serve the interests of all of the parties involved.

Length of marriage may factor into spousal support award

Not everyone gets to experience a happy, long-term marriage, and not everyone whose marriage lasts for decades is in a good relationship. Marriages can end early on or after many years, and Wisconsin residents who are considering later in life divorces should understand how the duration of their marriages may impact their abilities to receive support from their soon-to-be ex-spouses.

The length of a marriage is just one factor that courts will weigh when determining if and how spousal support should be awarded. Generally, however, non-working spouses can make strong cases for needing financial support from their exes. If a person gives up their career in order to support their ex's job path and to raise their children as a stay-at-home parent, they may find that they have been out of the workforce for decades when their divorce is under review.

Sharing a home to provide kids with post-divorce stability

Helping children transition out of a single home and into the shuffling existence of a shared custody arrangement can be tough on both parents and kids. While some Wisconsin families opt to allow kids to spend most of their time in the custody of one parent to minimize the disruptions to their lives, in some situations it is not possible for parents to work out schedules that do not impose burdens on their kids. When this happens, parents and kids may find themselves in an endless trip back and forth between two different homes.

People can get creative when it comes to child custody matters, and one trend that is growing in popularity across the country is nesting. Also called birdnesting, this practice flips the traditional custodial arrangement of kids moving from house to house to see their parents to the kids staying only in their family home. When a parent has their turn to have custody of their kids, they move into the home to stay with them. When it is not their turn, they stay at a second residence to allow the other parent have their turn.

We help you fight for your rights as a father

Becoming a parent can be both a wonderful and terrifying experience for a Waukesha resident. While few individuals feel ready to take on the incredible responsibilities that come with bringing a new life into the world, most parents have time to prepare themselves and their homes for the pending arrivals of their children. Couples who decide to start families together can work collaboratively to ready themselves for the massive changes that will occur when their babies are born.

However, as most people know, not every baby who comes into the world will have to parents who are committed to each other through a stable and healthy relationship. In some cases parents may choose to end their relationships before the babies are born or may have never intended to be connected to each other through the birth of a shared child. In these types of situations it can be hard for a prospective father to assert is role in the child's life without first demonstrating his paternal connection to his offspring.

The benefits of pursuing a collaborative divorce

It is often the case that more can be accomplished by individuals when they pool their resources and work together. This is a truth in Wisconsin workplaces, households, schools and in many social contexts people are encouraged to work together so that the resolutions they come up with serves the needs of the many, instead of just the few. In essence, collaboration is a good way for people with different perspectives to find common ground and answers to their collective troubles.

If collaboration is such a good way to solve issues, it may seem strange to readers of this family law blog that it is not the standard practice for ending marriages. As previously discussed in prior posts, collaborative divorces involve negotiations between the divorcing parties, wherein they may settle their own differences. It is important to note though that collaboration may not be possible for all divorcing couples as those that have experienced severe conflict or abuse may not be able to work together on a fair field of discourse.

Can texts help your divorce case?

People have increasingly found they no longer have as much privacy as decades before. Cases have come up recently of spouses spying on one another through their phone's GPS systems, and text messages, in particular, can serve as compelling evidence to identify adultery. 

Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state. That means a couple can divorce at any time for any reason. It is unnecessary for one spouse to prove the other committed adultery or anything of that nature. However, text messages can still come up in court to prove one side's point, so it is vital to remain prepared and ready for that possibility.

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