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When Could a Judge Order Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce?

When Can You Get Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

If you and your spouse are splitting up, you may be wondering when you can get alimony in a Wisconsin divorce. For many people, alimony – commonly called maintenance or spousal support – is a big deal… and it’s not common for couples to agree on how much money should change hands. Here’s what you know about when a judge can order alimony, how much it might be, and how long you or your spouse will receive it.

When Can You Get Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce?

Alimony is support typically reserved for spouses who need some time to become self-sustaining after a divorce. It’s not a payment that the courts take lightly – and in order for a judge to award it, one party must let the court know that it’s necessary.  

Couples are free to agree on spousal maintenance on their own. However, if a couple can’t agree and one spouse feels he or she needs it, the courts will make a decision. Judges consider several factors in determining maintenance, including:

  • How long the couple was married
  • Both spouses’ ages and physical health, including emotional health
  • How the couple’s property was divided
  • How much education each spouse has
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity
  • Whether the spouse who wants maintenance can eventually become self-sustaining, and how long that will take
  • The tax consequences to both parties
  • One spouse’s contribution to the other’s career, education, training or increased earning power
  • Other relevant factors

Related: Wisconsin alimony calculator

How Long Does Maintenance Last?

Spousal maintenance can last as long as the judge says it will. Some court orders for alimony last only a short time – but some can last a lifetime. In some cases, support continues until one spouse dies or remarries.

Related: Are you entitled to alimony during your divorce?

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce?

If you’re considering divorce and want to find out more about alimony, whether you’re going to be the one paying it or you’re likely to receive it, we can help. Call us at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation or contact us online. We’ll be happy to answer your questions about child custody, child support, alimony and other important aspects of divorce.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-02-16T12:42:31-06:00March 12th, 2020|Family Law|Comments Off on When Could a Judge Order Alimony in a Wisconsin Divorce?

How to Get a Restraining Order in Wisconsin

How to Get a Restraining Order in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Many people call our offices to ask how to get a restraining order in Wisconsin. The courts require you to follow a certain set of procedures before a judge will even look at your request. Here’s what you need to know.

How to Get a Restraining Order in Wisconsin

A restraining order is designed to protect someone from another person. It’s a court order that tells someone not to come near you, contact you or harass you. If the subject of the restraining order violates it – meaning he or she ignores what the order says and comes near you, contacts you or harasses you anyway – he or she is subject to serious criminal penalties.

There are three types of restraining orders:

  • 72-hour no-contact orders. Usually, these types of restraining orders are automatic. The courts often issue them after domestic violence incidents.
  • Temporary restraining orders. Temporary restraining orders are only in place for a short time. They’re designed to give a person time to gather evidence to show the court that they need an injunction.
  • Injunctions. An injunction is a more permanent restraining order. These can last for up to 4 years, and if they expire, you can ask the court to issue another one.

So how do you get a restraining order? Many people ask an attorney for help. Your attorney can file a petition with the court to help you get a temporary restraining order, or TRO. The judge assigned to your case will look at your evidence and determine whether it seems like you need a restraining order; if the judge believes you need protection, he or she will issue the TRO and you’ll get a court date to come back within 14 days.

When you return to court, your attorney can present evidence that you need protection of a more permanent nature – and the judge will decide whether to issue a restraining order in your case.

Do You Need Help or More Information on How to Get a Restraining Order in Wisconsin?

If you need help getting a restraining order – or if you’re not sure how the process works and you still need to know how to get a restraining order in Wisconsin, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 today or contact us online.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-02-16T12:16:04-06:00March 12th, 2020|Criminal Law, Family Law|Comments Off on How to Get a Restraining Order in Wisconsin

Medical Power of Attorney in Wisconsin

Medical Power of Attorney in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

A medical or health care power of attorney names a person you trust to act as your agent if you can’t speak for yourself – and for most people, it’s a good idea to have one in place. But what kinds of authority does a person with a health care power of attorney have in Wisconsin? Here’s what you need to know.

Medical Power of Attorney in Wisconsin

A medical power of attorney allows you to name someone you trust to be responsible for your medical decisions if you can’t make them yourself. That person can speak for you on healthcare matters, such as whether you want to be kept on life support or you’d prefer some life-sustaining options to stay off the table.

What to Think About if You’re Considering Health Care Power of Attorney

First things first: Many people choose to have a family law attorney draft a medical power of attorney and health care advance directive for them. Because this type of power of attorney or advance directive must meet certain criteria, it’s typically easier to tell an attorney what you want included and let him or her handle the rest.

Some things you may want to consider include:

  • What life-sustaining options you want used if they become necessary, such as mechanical ventilation and CPR
  • What types of pain relief options you want if you’re nearing the end of your life
  • When you would prefer artificial life support to be removed, such as in the event of brain death
  • Whether you want to donate your organs
  • How you want your remains handled in the event of your death

Can a Lawyer Draft a Medical Power of Attorney or Advance Directives?

A lawyer can help you draft a medical heath care power of attorney and advance directives. He or she will ask you all the important questions and answer your questions, as well. That way, you can be confident that you’re being clear about your wishes – and you’re taking legal steps to ensure they’re followed.

If you need help with a medical power of attorney in Wisconsin, call our office at 414-383-6700 or contact us onine. We’ll schedule a time to meet so you can prepare yourself – and your loved ones.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-02-16T13:04:33-06:00February 6th, 2020|Family Law|Comments Off on Medical Power of Attorney in Wisconsin

What is Permanent Guardianship in Wisconsin?

Permanent Guardianship in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Permanent guardianship creates a legal connection between one party and another. Under permanent guardianship in Wisconsin, the guardian is responsible for providing everything a natural guardian would be responsible for providing, such as food, a safe living environment, health care and education. The guardian becomes responsible for making important decisions in his or her ward’s life.

The two main types of permanent guardianship apply to children under the age of 18 and incompetent adults.

Permanent Guardianship of Children

Minor guardianship is typically an option when natural parents can’t – or won’t – care for a child. This type of guardianship can help keep children out of foster care or to keep a family intact when a parent is facing termination of his or her parental rights. Sometimes grandparents, aunts and uncles, and siblings apply for permanent guardianship. However, a person doesn’t have to be a blood relative to ask the court to grant them permanent guardianship of a child.

Guardianship of Incompetent Adults

Guardianship of incompetent adults is designed to protect people over the age of 17 years and 9 months who can’t care for themselves. Generally, it’s an option when a person has a developmental disability, serious and persistent mental illness, a degenerative brain disorder or another incapacity. It’s only appropriate if the adult in question has an incapacity that will result in a substantial, long-term disability – and even then, only if living without a guardian will create a serious risk of personal or financial harm to him- or herself.

Responsibilities of a Permanent Guardian

A permanent guardian has the authority to make decisions for his or her ward. Sometimes those decisions are limited to specific areas (such as education or healthcare), but in other cases, judges grant a guardian complete control over decisions related to the ward. Guardians usually have the ability to give consent on their ward’s behalf, as well as the responsibility to advocate for their ward’s rights.

Do You Need Legal Advice on Permanent Guardianship?

If you need information and legal advice on permanent guardianship, either of a child or an incompetent adult, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 to learn more.

Carlos Gamino

By |2020-01-16T16:27:00-06:00January 23rd, 2020|Family Law|Comments Off on What is Permanent Guardianship in Wisconsin?

3 Stress-Busting Tips to Use During Divorce

3 Tips to Bust Stress During Divorce - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

If you’re like most people contemplating or going through divorce, you already know how stressful it is. But there are three things you can do to help minimize your stress, keep your head clear, and make it through your divorce with as little collateral damage as possible:

  • Talk to a therapist
  • Get plenty of exercise
  • Keep a journal

Let’s take a closer look at each.

Talk to a Therapist

Talking to an impartial third party can be enormously helpful when you’re going through a divorce. Your therapist can teach you new coping strategies, listen to your issues and provide objective advice, and even help you come up with plans for your future. If you aren’t seeing a therapist or counselor right now, it’s an idea definitely worth exploring.

Get Plenty of Exercise

Everybody knows that exercise is good for your body, but it’s good for your mind, too. It provides tremendous benefits, like helping you think more clearly, rest better at night (as long as you’re not exercising heavily just before bed) and releasing brain chemicals that make you happier. Even parking at the far end of the lot at work can provide you with health benefits, especially if you make it a habit. You should definitely talk to your doctor before you start a new exercise program, though.

Keep a Journal

People have been journaling for ages, and that’s because it works. In addition to giving you an outlet for your feelings – the ones you can’t talk about with your family and friends – it pulls double-duty as a written record of the things you’re going through. For example, if your attorney needs a list of the dates and times your ex failed to pick up the kids for visitation, you have one ready-made at your fingertips.

Do You Need to Talk to a Milwaukee Divorce Lawyer?

If you’re contemplating divorce, or if your spouse has already filed, we may be able to help you. We’ll answer your questions and talk about possible outcomes during your free consultation – so call us at 414-383-6700 today.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T22:25:09-06:00November 27th, 2019|Family Law|Comments Off on 3 Stress-Busting Tips to Use During Divorce

What Does “Best Interest of the Child” Mean in Wisconsin?

What Does Best Interest of the Child Mean - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

When you’re talking about child custody in Wisconsin, you’ll hear the term best interest of the child. Typically, when the courts have to decide who gets child custody, that’s the judge’s primary concern – what’s best for the child or children involved.

Here’s what the phrase means.

What Does “Best Interest of the Child” Mean?

Most divorcing parents in Wisconsin are able to reach child custody agreements on their own. Together, they decide things like legal custody and physical placement. When two parents agree, the judge is likely to sign off on the agreement – as long as it’s fair to everyone involved and has the child’s best interests at heart. However, there are some cases in which parents are unable to agree on child custody; that’s when the courts have to step in and determine what’s in the child’s best interests.

When the courts are looking at what’s best for the child, the judge will consider things like:

  • The child’s age
  • The child’s health
  • The connections between each parent and the child
  • The child’s ties to home, community and school
  • Whether there’s a history of family violence
  • Whether each parent is capable of caring for the child emotionally, physically and emotionally

Sometimes the courts decide to give both parents legal and physical custody of the child; in other cases, those types of custody are split up. Legal custody is a parent’s right to make important decisions about a child’s upbringing, medical care (non-emergency), religion and education. The term physical placement refers to how much time the child spends in each parent’s care.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Child Custody and Your Child’s Best Interests?

If you’re a divorcing parent, you may need to talk to an attorney about child custody and how the courts determine the best interest of the child. We can help – call us at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation today.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T22:09:53-06:00November 27th, 2019|Family Law|Comments Off on What Does “Best Interest of the Child” Mean in Wisconsin?

What Are the Wisconsin Child Custody Laws on Moving Out of State?

Wisconsin Child Custody Laws on Moving Out of State - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

As Milwaukee divorce attorneys, we deal with a lot of child custody issues. A common question that comes up is related to Wisconsin child custody laws and moving out of state. Are you allowed to move out of state if you have custody of your children? What if your ex-spouse wants to move out of state?

Here’s what you need to know.

Wisconsin Child Custody Laws: Moving Out of State

Under Wisconsin law, you have to go through a certain procedure to move out of state. If you intend to relocate and live more than 100 miles from your kids’ other parent, you’ll have to file a motion with the court to ask permission first. You can’t just pack up and go.

Your child custody attorney can file the motion that contains all the essential information, including a relocation plan that outlines:

  • The date you want to move
  • Where you’re moving
  • Why you’re moving
  • A new placement schedule
  • Who will be responsible for costs for transportation of the children for the new placement schedule

Your attorney can have a copy of the motion served on your children’s other parent, and you may have to attend a hearing within 30 days of the motion being filed with the court. You cannot relocate the children before the initial hearing.

What if the Other Parent Objects?

Under Wisconsin child custody laws, moving out of state requires the other parent to agree or for one parent to prove why the relocation is necessary. If the other parent objects, he or she must file an objection within 5 days.

The court will make a determination on whether the proposed move is in the kids’ best interests. In some cases, the judge will refer the parents to a mediator, appoint a guardian ad litem or schedule another hearing.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Wisconsin Child Custody Laws and Moving Out of State?

If you need to talk to a custody lawyer about moving out of state, we may be able to help you. Call 414-383-6700 for your complimentary consultation with an experienced Milwaukee family law attorney now.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T21:53:44-06:00November 27th, 2019|Family Law|Comments Off on What Are the Wisconsin Child Custody Laws on Moving Out of State?

Child Placement Laws in Wisconsin

Child Placement Laws in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Child custody and placement are two of the most disputed parts of divorce. It can be tough for parents who both want the best for their children to see eye-to-eye, particularly after a break-up. But having knowledge of child placement laws in Wisconsin can help you determine what’s right for your kids – and what a judge is likely to sign off on when you submit a plan to the court.

Child Placement Laws in Wisconsin: What You Need to Know

Physical placement refers to the time that your children are in each parent’s care. When the children are with you, you have the right to make routine decisions about their care. Likewise, when they’re with their other parent, he or she has the right to make those decisions.

Most court orders outline the placement schedule between the parents so there’s not much room for confusion about where the kids are (and when they switch from one parent’s house to another).

Do Parents Have to Have Equal Placement?

In Wisconsin, the law says that kids should have a schedule that gives them plenty of time with each parent. The placement doesn’t have to be 50-50. In fact, it just needs to maximize the time the kids will have with each parent and make sure the time they spend with each parent is regularly occurring and meaningful.

It’s in your best interest to reach an agreement with your children’s other parent. If you don’t, the courts will have to rule for you. And while judges do their best to remain fair and impartial while putting the kids’ needs first, nobody knows your family – or what works for them – like you do.

Some of the factors the judge will consider if he or she must rule on placement include:

  • Availability of child care
  • Communication and cooperation between the parents
  • Each parent’s availability to care for the kids
  • Past parenting time
  • The child’s adjustment
  • The child’s family and other significant relationships
  • The needs and wishes of the children
  • What the parents want
  • Whether each parent is supportive or interferes in the other parent’s relationship with the children

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Child Placement Laws in Wisconsin?

If you need to talk to a Milwaukee child custody lawyer about placement, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 to learn more.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T21:32:33-06:00November 27th, 2019|Family Law|Comments Off on Child Placement Laws in Wisconsin

What is Collaborative Divorce?

What is Collaborative Divorce - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Divorce can be time-consuming, exhausting and expensive – but sometimes people choose collaborative divorce, which can be simpler and easier.

What is Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative divorce is an option for couples who can work out a divorce settlement on their own (or with the use of a mediator), but still need the legal protections available when working with a divorce attorney. A collaborative divorce requires the couple to be able to negotiate and maintain a functional relationship, though, which means it’s not right for everyone.

Related: Negotiations and divorce: Setting ground rules

Collaborative Divorce: Looking for a Win-Win

One of the reasons many people choose collaborative divorce is that they want a win-win outcome rather than a win-lose outcome. That means they want to walk away from the process feeling as if they’ve both won and they’re reasonably satisfied with the outcome, rather than someone “winning” and someone “losing.”

What About Court?

If the process breaks down and the parties have to go to court, where a judge will decide the outcome of the case (including on important matters like custody and spousal maintenance), most people feel as if they’ve lost something. And while judges do their best to remain fair and impartial, they don’t know your family like you do – which means you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are the best-qualified people to make decisions that will affect the rest of your (and your children’s) lives.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Collaborative Divorce?

When you’re considering divorce, collaboration with your spouse may be the best option for you. Call us right now at 414-383-6700 to schedule a consultation with an experienced Milwaukee divorce attorney to learn about your options.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T21:16:08-06:00November 27th, 2019|Family Law|Comments Off on What is Collaborative Divorce?

3 Negotiation Tips You Can Use During Divorce

3 Negotiation Tips You Can Use During Divorce - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

When you’re going through a divorce, it’s easy to get caught up in the “fight.” But for most people, that’s not the right solution. Instead, most people are happier with the final outcome when they’re able to negotiate and reach agreements on their own rather than forcing a judge to decide.

That requires negotiation between you and your spouse, though. You’ll have to look at divorce as a give-and-take process.

Here’s how.

3 Negotiation Tips You Can Use During Divorce

Check out these three tips that make negotiating with your soon-to-be ex-spouse easier:

  1. Control your own emotions
  2. Focus on the problem, not the person
  3. Be reasonable

#1. Control your own emotions.

Letting your emotions get the better of you during divorce can be a huge mistake. Because your emotions can cloud your judgment and prevent you from making the best possible decisions, it’s absolutely essential that you check them at the door when you’re trying to negotiate with your ex-spouse.

You, like many people, may just want to get back at your ex for the things he or she has done wrong – but divorce isn’t the time to do that. What you’re trying to do during divorce is get the best possible outcome for yourself, and when you try to use the process for revenge, it’s more than likely going to backfire on you.

Don’t think about the things you don’t want your ex to get from the divorce – only think about the things you want for yourself and your children.

Related: Ground rules for negotiation in divorce

#2. Focus on the problem, not the person.

Sure, you’re mad at your ex. Most of us are when we divorce. But if you focus on how terrible he or she is, you’re not going to be able to solve the issues you have to solve during divorce. Things like child custody, for example, are difficult to agree on when all you can see is the way you feel about your spouse.

Related: Should you cooperate with your ex during divorce?

#3. Be reasonable.

We’re not going to sugar-coat it: It’s pretty unreasonable for you to want the house, 75 percent of your spouse’s income each month as spousal maintenance, the family dogs, both cars, all your spouse’s retirement account and your family savings, plus full custody with your spouse only getting supervised visitation every other week for an hour. A judge won’t order those things, even if you both agree to them, because the judge’s job is to make sure the settlement you reach is fair to everyone involved (including your children).

Be reasonable in what you expect to take from your divorce – otherwise, you’re going to be seriously disappointed. Know that the judge will only approve a fair settlement and recognize that like you, your spouse is just trying to get out of this with his or her head above water.

Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Divorce?

If you need to talk to a Milwaukee divorce lawyer, we’re here for you. Call us at 414-383-6700 to discuss your case with an experienced attorney in a free consultation. We’ll answer your questions and help get you started on the right path to a successful divorce – one in which you’re able to negotiate with your spouse to get the best possible outcome.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T20:59:51-06:00November 27th, 2019|Family Law|Comments Off on 3 Negotiation Tips You Can Use During Divorce