Divorce brings about numerous family law issues. These elements may affect children, money, and assets. It’s often difficult for both parties to agree on all these issues, and that can lead to a contested divorce. Mediation can be helpful for couples who can cooperate and act amicably toward each other. Those who can’t agree, however, may need to litigate and battle it out in court. This can lead to costly delays.
Get the outcome you desire when it comes to children, pets, property division, and more. A Menomonee Falls family law attorneyfrom Karp & Iancu, S.C. can guide you through the process and help you understand Wisconsin laws.
Child custody, support, and visitation are elements of family law that are typically decided by the court. However, mothers and fathers both have certain rights under the law.
Typically, mothers will have primary custody of the children, particularly if paternity is in question. This may be the case if the mother and father were not married at the time of the child’s birth. Until paternity is identified, the mother could be given sole custody of the child.
There are cases, though, where the paternity is confirmed and the father may disagree with your custody agreements and rights. This is when you need to work with an attorney who can prove that you deserve custody of your children.
Fathers also have legal rights, as long as their paternity is not in question. If they are proven to be the father of the child in question, they have the same rights as mothers. These rights include child custody and visitation rights. Under Wisconsin law, it is important for children to have a relationship with both parents. It’s a good idea to have an attorney on your side who can help you fight for those rights.
Parental rights are often in accordance with the best interests of the child. The courts want your children to have the best care possible, so they’ll choose child custody carefully. The best interests of your child may vary, depending on their age, medical needs, educational needs, and emotional needs. For example, when the child is an infant and still breastfeeding, the mother-child relationship is especially important. The father may only be allowed short visits for a while.
Even when parental rights are established, the custody agreement could be modified at any time based on any changes, such as the distance to school, the child’s safety, the mental and physical health of the parents, and any neglect or abuse. Contact a Menomonee Falls family law attorney to learn more about modifications.
Wisconsin is a community property state, which means that in a divorce, assets are divided equally, at 50/50. This may not be fair for someone who comes into the marriage with significant assets, which is why many people get prenuptial agreements. These legal documents detail how the couple should divide assets and debts in the event of a divorce.
Prenuptial agreements are not reserved solely for the rich. Anyone can get one to protect themselves and their assets. You can use a prenup to protect your or your spouse’s business. Maybe you have children from a previous marriage and want to ensure they get their fair share of assets. Plus, if either spouse dies, a prenuptial agreement can help mitigate any disputes.
Once the wedding takes place, the couple can still enter into this agreement, but it is then called a postnuptial agreement. It would still be valid in a divorce as long as both parties sign and agree to it.
Prenuptial agreements are meant to divide property (which includes pets in Wisconsin). However, these agreements need to be fair; they cannot be one-sided. They cannot be used as a tool to raise children or manage behavior in a marriage. For example, prenuptial or postnuptial agreements cannot be used to dictate who does chores or how often a couple has sex.
Alimony is a contentious issue in a divorce. Of course, everyone would love to receive it, but nobody really wants to pay it. Alimony is a way for both parties to leave a marriage on equal footing. It allows a spouse who hasn’t worked or who doesn’t make a lot of money to get on their feet after their marriage ends.
Alimony is a decision made by the judge. It is based on factors such as:
- The length of the marriage
- The income and earning capacity of each spouse
- The age and health of each spouse
- The education level of each spouse
- Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage
While there is temporary or short-term alimony, the payments often last until the recipient spouse remarries or either party dies.
As a high wage earner, you may wonder if there are ways to avoid paying alimony. Your best option is to prove that your spouse is financially stable on their own. You can do this by showing what assets they have. Also, ending your marriage sooner rather than later is a good idea. Shorter marriages tend to have less alimony involved. However, there are no guarantees. Contact your lawyer to learn more about your options.