People often ask, “Do I even need to hire a Milwaukee divorce lawyer?” The short answer is, “no.” However, you also don’t need to hire an obstetrician to deliver your baby. Nature will take its course with or without the doctor there. But sometimes it is nice to have someone who can intervene when there are complications—and even better to have someone who can see them coming and avoid them before they happen. And even when things go as planned, it is helpful to have someone by your side who has been through it many times before—and when you think all is going wrong—can reassure you, “Everything is fine–it really does just hurt this bad.”
Having a Milwaukee divorce lawyer is the same. They cannot change the fact that you are getting divorced, but they can help you avoid complications with child custody, child support, and alimony and can do everything possible to ensure you and your family emerge from the process as safely as possible. And when the process seems too long, or expensive, or unfair, or complicated, they are there to reassure you, “Everything will be fine–divorce really does just hurt this bad.”
The short answer is: Before you need one.
Many people contemplate divorce for several months or even years before talking to a divorce attorney. During this time, they often do a lot of research on the internet or talk to family and friends who have been divorced about their experiences. But talking to family and friends about their divorces is like talking to them about their pregnancies or childbirth experiences: There may be some broad similarities common to all situations, but for the most part, it is going to be a unique experience that is heavily individualized.
Getting legal assistance from a divorce attorney can help you answer all the “what ifs” that are unique to your particular situation. This is information regarding family law matters that you cannot find on the Internet. Unfortunately, many people read articles that are based upon limited information or that apply in different states and try to analyze them in the context of their own situations and family law issues. The result is that people often inadvertently make assumptions that influence their decision-making when it should not. For example, did you know children do not get to choose which parent they live with when they turn thirteen? This is an urban legend that is not true at all in Wisconsin. Have you read that courts often favor mothers over fathers in custody disputes? Or that if you are the first one to move out you have “abandoned” the house and cannot claim it in the divorce? None of these things are true. At all.
Hiring a divorce lawyer in Milwaukee will help you understand all the options that are unique to your situation and which options are best for YOU and YOUR family. From timing the divorce, to financing it, to telling the kids—a divorce attorney can help customize a strategy that will respect the goals you have for your changing family.
So, talk to a divorce attorney as soon as you start wondering what life might be like if you divorced. This will help you not only make decisions based on accurate information, it will help you put all the advice you receive from friends, family, and the internet in its proper context.
. . . For all the same reasons you should hire a surgeon to perform your surgery. In some ways, hiring family law attorneys versus representing yourself is like the difference between plastic surgery with a scalpel and plastic surgery with a chainsaw.
A skilled divorce lawyer in Milwaukee can help divide your marital estate and time with your children along neat and tidy lines that will leave you and your family with the fewest scars. Trying to do it yourself can leave your family and finances sliced and diced so severely that they are unrecognizable in the end.
You may think it’s easy enough to simply “divide by two” but Milwaukee divorce lawyers have more than one go-to move. They navigate a very tricky and nuanced area of family law. Did you know that when child custody and placement are in dispute, your lawyer must present evidence based on sixteen different factors that the court must consider? If child support is in dispute, they must present evidence on sixteen more. If spousal support is disputed, ten more factors come into play and if property division is in dispute, they must present evidence on thirteen additional factors. In many cases, ALL of those issues are in dispute which means you must present evidence on fifty-five different factors. Would you know which ones will be most important and persuasive to the judge? Do you know what kind of evidence the judge expects (and wants!) to hear on each factor? Do you know the names of the cases that support your evidence on each factor? Your experienced divorce lawyer at Karp & Iancu, SC does.
Another important reason to hire a divorce attorney is because they anticipate problems and prevent them from happening. For example, dividing retirement accounts is tricky business. It is not enough to simply agree that a pension should be divided “fifty-fifty.” There are special laws and rules that dictate how pensions must be divided in divorce proceedings. If you attempt this yourself, you may not know for many many years that you did it incorrectly—at which time it is much more difficult and expensive to fix. It also may be impossible to undo the damage if, for example, one spouse’s interest in the pension was not paid over or preserved as required by law.
There are also agreements you and your spouse might like to make that are against the law or a violation of public policy. An experienced divorce attorney can advise you of such agreements and offer legal alternatives to achieve your goals and objectives. For example, did you know you can’t get divorced in Wisconsin while you are pregnant? Did you know that it is against the law to award all the marital assets to one spouse in order to make the other spouse eligible for public assistance?
Most importantly, a lawyer is a trusted teammate who can share the load.
Getting divorced is emotionally, physically, and financially draining. At times, it can feel like a full-time job. There will be times when you wonder if you made a mistake. There will be times when you wonder if things will ever get better. You will experience fear, anger, and confusion—even IF you have a divorce attorney.
But if you don’t have divorce attorneys sharing the load, you will have the added stress of handling the legal process and the necessary confrontation that goes with it. YOU will have to negotiate with your spouse (or their lawyer); YOU will have to prepare and file the necessary court documents; YOU will have to go to court alone and present evidence to a judge who will expect you to know and follow all court rules and procedures.
It is a labor-intensive process—and one that is not very fun. You could spend time with your children or working to save money or even going on a much-needed vacation. Instead, you will have to set your own needs and your children’s needs aside to spend hours learning how to fill out complicated court forms–or trying to decipher a confusing and very one-sided offer from your spouse’s divorce attorney.
Our Milwaukee divorce lawyers will help you stay focused on your goals and keep the process moving forward so that you can emerge as whole and as happy as possible.
Hopefully, this is your first and only divorce. Your lawyer likely handles over fifty divorces each year and just as it is with plastic surgery, the face may change, but the anatomy remains the same. Your lawyer has not encountered your family, but they have encountered your issues many times. And just like a highly trained surgeon, they are your best hope for a pain-free procedure and speedy recovery. Contact the law offices of Karp & Iancu, SC for your consultation with one of our family law attorneys.
933 N. Mayfair Rd., Suite 300
Milwaukee, WI 53226
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