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Waukesha Family Legal Blog

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.

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.

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