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Bucher Law Group, LLC

WI family lawyerTelevision and movies often show married couples getting their marriage annulled after a last-minute decision to marry. While it is often depicted as a quick fix for spouses who regret getting married, it is actually quite difficult to get an annulment in Wisconsin. Many people misunderstand the purpose of annulling a marriage. They assume that an annulment is equivalent to a fast-tracked divorce. However, annulment is only possible under a narrow range of circumstances.

What is the Difference Between an Annulment and a Divorce?

Annulment and divorce are two very different legal processes. Divorce terminates a marriage. Annulment deems a marriage “invalid.” A marriage that has been annulled is considered to have never taken place. Another issue that confuses the subject is that many people mistake religious annulment for civil annulment or legal annulment. In some religions, a marriage may be annulled in the eyes of the church if the marriage did not meet the standards required by that particular faith. However, a marriage that has been annulled through the church may not necessarily meet the criteria for legal annulment.

Criteria for Annulment in Wisconsin

Wisconsin only grants annulments under certain conditions. The grounds for annulment in Wisconsin include:

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Milwaukee County divorce attorney

If you are planning to end your marriage, you may have already researched how issues like child support, alimony, and property division are handled in a Wisconsin divorce. You may have already sorted through your financial documents and gathered tax returns, informed your children about the divorce, and taken other preliminary steps. However, there may be one important concern that you are overlooking: Social media. Facebook and other social media platforms are increasingly becoming a major factor in Wisconsin divorce cases. What you – or your spouse – post on social media can affect your divorce case substantially.  

Posts on Social Media Can Reveal Financial Information

Most divorce concerns hinge upon finances. Before you can end legally your marriage, you and your spouse are expected to disclose details about your income, property, debts, and other financial information. This information is used to make informed decisions about child support, asset and debt division, alimony, and more. It is important to know how posts on social media can reveal financial information during a divorce. Information about new purchases, vacation photographs, and other seemingly harmless updates may become evidence in your divorce case. You may even find evidence of your spouse’s financial deception or clues about hidden assets through social media.

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Waukesha County divorce attorney property division

The joining of two lives through marriage also involves the joining of the spouses’ finances. Determining how to divide marital property is often one of the key issues in a Wisconsin divorce. Disputes about property division during divorce can escalate and become contentious and complex. If you are considering divorce, it is important to know how property division is handled according to Wisconsin law.

Wisconsin Family Courts Follow “Community Property” Laws

Each state handles property division during divorce slightly differently. Wisconsin is a community property state. Property and funds accumulated during the marriage are owned by the “marital estate” and are subject to division during divorce. Spouses have an equal right to marital property in a community property state. Even if only one spouse’s name is on the title to an asset, both spouses have an equal right to that asset. It is also crucial to remember that the word “property” in this context refers to assets as well as debts.

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Waukesha County family law attorney child support

As any parent can tell you, raising a child is expensive. Between housing, educational and extracurricular fees, groceries, and other expenses, child-related costs can constitute a large share of a parent’s monthly bills. When married parents divorce or unmarried parents have a child together, one parent is typically ordered to make child support payments to the other. In Wisconsin, the amount of financial support a parent provides via child support is determined by several different factors.

Wisconsin Child Support Laws

Generally, the parent who spends more time directly caring for the child is the recipient of child support and the other parent is the payer. The amount of child support that a parent pays is typically determined by statutory formulas. In Wisconsin, a parent’s child support obligation is determined by multiplying his or her income by a certain percentage:

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Milwaukee County divorce attorney spousal maintenance

Divorce can have a profound impact on a person’s finances. This is especially true if the person was heavily dependent on his or her spouse’s income. Alimony, also called spousal maintenance or spousal support, is financial aid paid by one spouse to another spouse after the couple divorces. Maintenance is typically awarded to a spouse who has sacrificed education, job training, or employment opportunities to maintain the marital home and/or raise the couple’s children. If you are planning to divorce in Wisconsin and you have a lower income than your spouse, it is possible that you may be entitled to spousal maintenance.

Spousal Maintenance in Wisconsin

Some people assume that spousal maintenance or alimony is automatically awarded by the court during divorce, but this is not the case. There are three main ways that a spouse may receive alimony in Wisconsin:

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