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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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Delafield, WI child custody lawyerIf you are getting divorced, you know the confusion and uncertainty it can bring. One of the most common questions people getting a divorce ask is, “What happens to my children?” While this is a legitimate and important question, there is no simple answer. Just because you are getting a divorce from your spouse does not mean that your--or their--relationship with your children ends. You may not be married forever, but you will be a parent for life. You and your spouse may be in agreement about the legal and physical custody of your children, or you might have different ideas of what should happen.

Resolving Custody Issues Through Mediation

Wisconsin courts strongly believe that parents should try their best to settle any custody disagreements on their own. When parents make their own decisions about custody, they are more likely to stick to their decisions. If parents are not able to come to an agreement, Wisconsin courts may require them to attend at least one session of mediation to help them resolve any outstanding issues. If the spouses are unable to reach an agreement through mediation, then the parents will need to file a parenting plan with the court within 60 days. 

Elements of Wisconsin Parenting Plans

In Wisconsin, the person who is petitioning for sole or joint custody of the child must file a parenting plan with the court. If the other parent does not also file a parenting plan within 60 days, they waive their right to object to the parenting plan. A parenting plan filed with the court should contain the following elements:

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Posted on in Divorce/Family Law
Wisconsin Parenting Plans 101

Waukesha parenting plan lawyerA document that outlines all parental duties is known as a parenting plan. When a couple with children decides to file for divorce, it is each parent’s responsibility to file a proposed parenting plan asking the court to make decisions about the legal custody and physical placement of their children. In the event that both parents completely agree on these issues, one plan may be filed, but in many cases, each parent will file their own proposed plan. Below is some more information on how parenting plans work in Wisconsin:

Who Decides On a Parenting Plan?

In the ideal situation, both parents are involved in a child’s life. However, if your divorce is the result of abuse, domestic violence, or another dangerous issue, you may prefer to handle all parental duties on your own, and you may ask the court to grant you sole custody of your children. If you do wish to share these duties, you will need to work with your ex-spouse to create a parenting plan that you both agree on.

Even though you and your child’s other parent are highly encouraged to come up with an agreed plan, any proposed parenting plan will need to be approved by the court. If your plan protects your child’s best interests, it will likely be approved by a judge. In the event that you and your child’s other parent do not create a plan or cannot agree on certain issues, the court may make decisions on your behalf.

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5 Divorce Tips for Men and Fathers

Waukesha County divorce attorney men fathersOften, men and fathers do not take steps to protect their rights in a divorce, because they believe that women and mothers are always favored in the decisions made in family court. However, if you are a man or father going through a divorce, you should know that you have certain rights, and you do not have to let a divorce hurt your finances and your future. Here are five tips that can help you survive your divorce: 

1. Ensure Your Assets Are Protected 

Wisconsin is a community property state, meaning that property a couple acquired during their marriage is distributed equally between both spouses so that each one leaves the marriage with about the same amount of assets and debts. Although Wisconsin courts usually favor equal property division, they may deviate from it after considering several factors, such as the length of the marriage, the property each spouse brought to the marriage, and each spouse’s contributions to the marriage. By seeking experienced legal representation, you can ensure your assets are protected. 

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