It is important to most divorcing Wisconsin parents to maintain strong relationships with their children. Doing so can be hard, however, when children live exclusively with one parent and the other is left with only sparse visitation time. When a parent does not have physical custody of their child, then they are often referred to as the non-custodial parent.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.