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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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Walworth County divorce lawyer

Deciding to end a marriage is never easy. Divorcing couples not only deal with the personal implications of divorce, but they must also contend with the financial and legal consequences of ending their marriage. If you are considering divorce in Wisconsin, you may have many questions about what to expect. You may be unsure of how issues such as property division, alimony, and child custody are handled in Wisconsin. Ending a marriage is often a complicated legal process, especially if the couple owns complex assets, has a high net worth, or shares children. An experienced divorce attorney can answer your questions and help you navigate the legal proceedings. 

How Do I File for Divorce?

If you are ready to begin the divorce process, your first step is to file a Summons and Petition for Divorce with the court. The person who initially files for divorce is the petitioner and the other spouse is the respondent. The petitioner must ensure that the respondent is served with the summons and petition, either by serving the respondent the papers himself or herself, asking a friend or relative to serve the divorce papers, or serving the divorce papers via a process server or police officer. The respondent must file a Response and Counterclaim with the court within 20 days.

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Waukesha County divorce attorney child custody

During the divorce process, it is important for parents to come to an agreement on child custody, visitation, and child support, either through a cooperative negotiation or a court order. This agreement should focus on the best interests of the children at the time of the divorce. However, in the years that follow, changing circumstances may make it necessary to pursue modifications to the parenting agreement to ensure that it continues to work for both the kids and the parents.

Reasons to Modify a Parenting Agreement in Wisconsin

After a divorce, there are a number of situations in which it may be beneficial or necessary to modify the original parenting agreement. Some possible reasons for a change include:

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Jefferson County divorce attorneyChild-related issues are perhaps the most difficult aspects of a divorce. When you have a child, you must take into consideration how your divorce proceedings and the decisions about issues such as property division and spousal support will affect his or her life as well as yours. It can be difficult to balance your own needs with your child’s best interests when making decisions about various issues. Child custody can be a contentious topic in a divorce, which is why the state of Wisconsin has set forth specific guidelines for settling these types of issues.

Mediation Requirements

Like many other states across the country, Wisconsin believes that a judge making a decision about child custody should be a last resort. If you and your spouse are having a hard time agreeing on child custody issues, you both will be ordered to attend at least one mediation session to help you reach a decision. If you and your spouse use mediation to your advantage and come to a mutual decision on legal and physical custody, your agreement will be written up by the mediator, reviewed by your attorney, and given to the judge in your final custody proceeding.

Determining Physical Placement

If mediation is not appropriate for your situation, or if you and your spouse have been unable to come to an agreement, the court will appoint a guardian ad litem for your child to represent his or her best interests. You will then attend a hearing for a judge to allocate physical placement. The judge will create a schedule that allows the child to spend time with both parents, unless it is found to be harmful to the child for both parents to have visitation.

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Waukesha, WI Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is often extremely contentious. When children become involved in the scope of topics parents fight about, it is unfair to the child. In some divorces, child custody is a very heated matter that can be extremely difficult to reach an agreement regarding legal custody, physical custody, and a parenting plan. In some cases, an attorney is appointed to serve as a guardian ad litem, which is a third-party representative who will advocate for the child’s best interests. Many states differ on how they handle child custody, but Wisconsin’s laws are fairly straightforward.

Divorce Mediation Requirement

Wisconsin courts suggest a child custody agreement is best created when it is negotiated by both of the child’s parents. For various reasons, sometimes this is not possible, which is why Wisconsin requires divorcing parents to attend at least one session of mediation in an attempt to get them to work together for the sake of their child. If the mediator determines a decision will most likely not be reached in mediation, they can then ask the court to review the case and make a determination about child custody.

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