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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

How Are Retirement Assets Divided in Wisconsin?

How Are Retirement Assets Divided in Wisconsin – Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Wisconsin is one of a handful of states that treats retirement accounts as community property, and they’re typically divided equally between the couple during divorce. The three main types of retirement assets – IRAs, 401(k)s and 403(b)s – all get divvied up based on the community property principle unless certain exceptions apply.

When is a Retirement Account Community Property?

If the parties were married during the entire time that one or the other contributed to a retirement account, the account is considered community property. As community property, both parties are entitled to an equal share.

However, if one party contributed to a retirement account before the couple was married, the account can be treated as separate property. In a case like that, the retirement account isn’t subject to division between the two parties.

Pension Plans and Property Division

A pension plan, which is something some employers offer without requiring an employee to contribute, requires valuation during divorce. In many cases, the parties to a divorce that includes a pension plan need to hire a professional actuary. The actuary will figure out the value of monthly pension payments, how much of the pension should be considered a marital asset, and how much the nonemployee spouse is entitled to receive.

If you must divide a pension, you have a couple of options. One spouse can “buy out” the other, which means giving up some other assets to make up for the value of the pension, or the couple can decide to split the pension when the employee spouse retires. It’s a little more complex to divide it at retirement, and it requires couples to get a qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO, so many people choose the buy out option.

What if You Have a Retirement Account to Divide During Your Divorce?

If your divorce involves possible complexities like retirement accounts, you need to work with an experienced Milwaukee divorce attorney who can help.

Call us right away at 414-383-6700 for a free divorce consultation. We’ll answer your questions, refer you to the appropriate professionals, and represent your best interests every step of the way during your divorce.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T20:42:26-06:00November 27th, 2019|Family Law|Comments Off on How Are Retirement Assets Divided in Wisconsin?

Is Child Support Mandatory in Wisconsin?

Is Child Support Mandatory in Wisconsin – Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Child support is mandatory for divorced parents (or parents who are not together) in Wisconsin. The state operates on the principle that child support is a two-parent responsibility, though, so it doesn’t always work out the way people think it will.

Here’s what you need to know.

Child Support as a Two-Parent Responsibility

Both parents are legally required to financially support their children in the state of Wisconsin. The courts can order one or both parents to pay child support, provided that it’s reasonable and necessary.

In most cases, the parent who has the child less than 50 percent of the time is the one who has to make child support payments. (There are exceptions to every rule, though, and your Milwaukee divorce attorney can help you figure out what’s going to happen in your case.)

How is Child Support Determined?

Wisconsin has specific child support guidelines that govern how much money one parent has to pay the other for child support. However, judges can deviate from the guidelines on a case-by-case basis.

Typically, child support payments are based on the paying parent’s income. Even if the parent who’s responsible for paying doesn’t have a job, he or she is still accountable for making payments.

For the most part, when the paying parent makes between $1,350 and $7,000 per month, he or she will owe:

  • 17 percent of income for 1 child
  • 25 percent of income for 2 children
  • 29 percent of income for 3 children
  • 31 percent of income for 4 children
  • 34 percent of income for 5 or more children

When the paying parent makes less than $1,350 per month, the courts use what’s called the low-income payer table, which ranges between 11.34 percent of the parent’s income to 22.35 percent of the parent’s income.

Do You Need to Talk to a Milwaukee Divorce Lawyer?

If you’re a parent who’s divorcing in Milwaukee or a nearby city, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 for a free divorce case review, where you’ll be welcome to ask us all your questions about child support and other divorce-related issues.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T20:31:17-06:00November 27th, 2019|Family Law|Comments Off on Is Child Support Mandatory in Wisconsin?

Guide to Child Support in Wisconsin

Guide to Child Support in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

When parents split up – provided that their kids are still minors – one typically has to pay the other child support. The state has specific guidelines it uses to set child support amounts, which account for each parent’s income, how much time the kids spend with each parent, and whether either parent is supporting other children as well.

Both parents are responsible for supporting their children. However, the payments usually go to the kids’ primary caregiver because the state accounts for what he or she is already contributing. Your Milwaukee divorce attorney can give you case-specific advice, but here’s a general overview.

Wisconsin’s Child Support Guidelines

Based on Wisconsin child support guidelines, which apply to most families (although there are exceptions), the paying parent’s income determines the amount he or she will pay. The guidelines say that the paying parent must contribute the following percentages of his or her income:

  • 17% for one child
  • 25% for two children
  • 29% for three children
  • 31% for four children
  • 34% for five or more children

There is a low-income payer table for parents who make under a certain amount of money each month, as well as a high-income payer table for parents who make over a certain amount.

The court has a little leeway in ordering child support. The main idea is that the child support must be fair to both parents and the children involved in the case – and your judge may make adjustments based on several factors. If both parents share placement of the children and each has the child at least 25 percent of the time, for example, or if one parent has to support more than one family, the court may adjust the amount of child support that changes hands.

Enforcing Child Support

When a judge orders child support, it’s a legally binding order – the paying parent must pay it or face consequences. Wisconsin’s child support agencies enforce child support payments by:

  • Taking tax refunds
  • Preventing the parent who owes from getting a passport or financial assistance
  • Placing a lien against the owing parent’s property
  • Suspending the owing parent’s driver’s license

Related: Can you withhold child support if your ex won’t let you see your kids?

Are You a Parent Who’s Getting a Divorce?

If you’re a parent who’s considering divorce, or if your spouse has already filed, we can help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 right now for a free consultation with a Milwaukee divorce attorney. We’ll answer your questions about child support, placement and other divorce-related issues, and we’ll begin putting together a strategy that gets your family the best possible outcome.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T20:22:42-06:00November 27th, 2019|Family Law|Comments Off on Guide to Child Support in Wisconsin

Can You Get a Restraining Order Against Your Spouse in Wisconsin?

Can You Get a Restraining Order Against Your Spouse in Wisconsin - Carlos Gamino

By Carlos Gamino

Wisconsin law is designed to protect people from harm – and domestic violence is no exception. The law allows for people to get what’s called a restraining order against an abusive spouse or another person, and you may be able to ask the court for one in your case.

What is a Restraining Order?

A restraining order is a signed order from a judge that prevents someone from doing something. In a domestic abuse case, a restraining order would prohibit your spouse or significant other from engaging in certain behaviors or contacting you.

Related: Should you get a restraining order against your ex?

Can You Only Get a Restraining Order if You’re Divorcing?

You can get a restraining order against someone who is abusing you or putting you in danger – whether or not you divorce is a separate matter. Spouses can get a domestic abuse restraining order, but you don’t have to be married; you can be in one of the following relationships instead:

  • Marriage
  • Blood relations
  • Sharing a child
  • Living together (now or in the past)
  • Dating

Related: Can my spouse get a restraining order against me?

The 4 Types of Restraining Orders

There are four main types of restraining orders available in Wisconsin:

  • Domestic abuse
  • Harassment
  • Individuals at risk
  • Child abuse

Related: Wisconsin restraining order information

In a domestic abuse situation, you could be eligible to file a petition for a temporary restraining order or a petition and motion for injunction hearing if an adult has:

  • Intentionally caused you physical pain, injury or illness
  • Impaired your physical condition
  • Sexually abused you
  • Threatened to physically or sexually harm you

How Long Do Restraining Orders Last?

Restraining orders can be temporary and last for just a couple of weeks (until a final hearing). At the final hearing, a judge can order an injunction, which can last for up to 4 years. In some cases, you can ask the judge to extend an injunction past the initial time period, too.

Do You Need to Talk to a Milwaukee Lawyer About a Restraining Order?

If you’ve been threatened or harmed and need to get a restraining order against your spouse or significant other, we may be able to help you.

Call us at 414-383-6700 to talk to a caring, compassionate Milwaukee family law attorney right now. During your free consultation, we’ll answer your questions and help you make the right choices for your future.

Carlos Gamino

By |2019-11-27T20:11:55-06:00November 27th, 2019|Family Law|Comments Off on Can You Get a Restraining Order Against Your Spouse in Wisconsin?