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Milwaukee Divorce Law Blog

$14 billion due in child support across the country

Many times, a couple that separates after a failed marriage can be involved in disputes about child custody. When going through a divorce or a paternity proceeding, it is important to keep in mind the future and well-being of the child. In Wisconsin, one of the parents will have to pay child support for the minor children in each case. Any failure to comply with such a court order may result in serious consequences for that parent.

The Census Bureau recently released a study on child support dues. According to the study, in 2011, $14 billion was owed in child support. Only 43% of all custodial parents and guardians received what was due to the child. Eighty-nine percent of 6.2 million parents to whom child support was due were women and about half of all parents to whom child support was due were poverty stricken. The nationwide monthly average child support ordered was $500. However, the average amount of child support that was actually received was $315 per month. The situation was slightly better among the more educated and those who shared child custody.

Planning child custody during the holiday season

Thanksgiving Day is close; Christmas is about a month away and the New Year is a week after Christmas. The holiday season is here, heralding that time of the year when Americans across the world head home to be with their families. For divorced people with children, in Wisconsin or elsewhere, an issue comes to mind: how to settle child custody without ruining the holidays.

It can be a tricky business, especially if a holiday schedule has not been factored in when the divorce settlement agreement was drafted. If the separation was amicable, people usually take that extra step to accommodate their ex-spouse to grant holiday custody. However, it is still advisable to obtain the ex-spouse's consent to the arrangement in writing to preempt any misunderstanding and bad blood or worse, a face-off in court.

Dogs may be considered property in divorce proceedings

Dogs are considered family members in most Wisconsin households. A married couple and their children may be emotionally attached to the pet and may never want to part with it. However, some family law courts may consider pets to be personal property in a divorce.

During a divorce, while deciding on property division, one important issue to be considered is custody of the family dog. Both spouses may want to keep the dog during the divorce proceedings and also after the process is completed. The couple may file several motions for exclusive rights and long-term possession of the family dog. However, some judges may consider dogs to be property, just like household goods, and may follow similar guidelines used to determine property division. Also, the laws in the state may decide if the dog is separate property or community property.

Couples should focus on financial aspects in divorce

Life involves lots of changes and a couple's decision to part ways can be one such major change. Many people in Wisconsin are emotionally unsettled during a divorce and may feel uncertain about their future. The couple may have to deal with new responsibilities regarding finances, upbringing of children and saving for the future. They may also have to work on child custody issues. When dealing with the emotional aspects of divorce, many people may fail to consider the financial implications.

As property division is a main part of the divorce proceedings, the couple should be aware of their financial situation. The spouse may want to make duplicates of any records related to finances when they decide to file for divorce. Having all the financial records in hand before the discovery process is initiated may save time and money. For example, the spouse may keep copies of both business and personal tax returns for the past three years, as well as paystubs, credit card statements, investment account statements and annuity and insurance information.

Wisconsin resident recalls sister's domestic abuse

Many domestic violence victims may deny that they have a problem. Sometimes, the abuse may be psychological and the person may not be willing to accept that he or she is a victim of domestic abuse. Abuser may try to control the other partner and dominate the relationship and this approach may lead to violence. This dynamic can happen in any relationship, economic class or race. A Wisconsin resident recently recalled the tragic circumstances that her sister faced due to domestic violence.

She stated that her sister never believed that she was in an abusive relationship. The marriage lasted for approximately 13 years and the couple was in marriage counseling during that period. A few years earlier, police were called to resolve a fight between the couple. The abuse victim had also told her parents that she had a physical fight with her husband. The relationship got worse and the husband eventually beat his wife to death.

Jermaine Jackson owes back child support payments

A marriage may end, but a parent's obligation toward children does not end. After a divorce, the parent may be required to pay child maintenance for the financial benefit of the child. In Wisconsin, a person involved in a divorce or paternity proceeding may have to pay child support for minor children. Failure to pay the designated child support amount can lead to serious consequences for the parent.

According to sources, Jermaine Jackson failed to pay child support for his two sons. He has to pay child support totaling $3,000 a month to both his children. As he failed to make payments of $12,000, the Child Support Services Department has requested the judge to hold Jackson in contempt. He can be incarcerated for 20 days as a penalty for contempt.

Child support payments may add to a person's debt in Wisconsin

During a divorce proceeding, the family has to deal with various issues. Two of the main issues are child custody and child support. While one of the parents may get the custody of the child, the other may have to pay child support. People in Wisconsin may have noticed that sometimes, due to a miscalculation, paying parents may be burdened with child support payments that can have an adverse effect on them.

When a mother takes part in Wisconsin's child support program, the father may be required to contribute up to 25 percent of his income towards child support. However, this amount may prove to be difficult to pay if the person is unemployed. Also, interest rates of child support payments are quite high, which can cause the person to be in significant debt if the payments are not made on time.

Property division issues related to divorce in Wisconsin

People in Wisconsin are likely aware that going through a divorce is never easy for a couple, particularly in terms of property division. In dividing properly, couples may have to face financial, as well as emotional, issues. Along with decisions about alimony, child custody and child support, the couple will also have to divide property and assets. Sometimes, couples may have pre-nuptial agreements which can make the divorce process much easier and property division less complicated. If there is no such agreement, the court will decide on those matters based on state law.

Recent studies revealed that people aged 50 and older are one of the fastest growing demographics of newly divorced couples. Reports state that those numbers are almost double what they were in the 1980s and almost one in four divorces falls into the category of older couples divorcing. Divorces later in life can pose specific problems, as the couple may have acquired varied assets over a long period of time during the marriage and dividing those assets can be challenging. Additionally, dividing stock options, a business or a deferred compensation package can also be difficult.

Abuse all too common in volatile relationships

Each year thousands of Wisconsin residents marry their partners with hopes and dreams of long, loving futures. For some, those dreams are fulfilled by years of peaceful happiness. For others, wedding celebrations quickly fade into dangerous relationships marked by domestic abuse.

A recent report by End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin claims that domestic violence took the lives of 52 people in Wisconsin during 2012. While not all of the deceased victims were killed by their marital partners, all lost their lives unnecessarily to a pervasive and national problem.

Divorce and residency can impact college financial aid awards

With a new crop of college students busy getting into the new academic year, high school seniors all across Milwaukee are anxiously filling out college applications. While many are concerned over their test scores, grades and application essays, children of divorced parents might have some unique questions about how to tackle the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA form.

For students of married parents, FAFSA is relatively straightforward but complications arise for kids who split their time between their moms and dads. For the purposes of FAFSA, the government only looks at the income of the parent with whom the child resides most of the year. If that parent has remarried and his or her new spouse has an income, that step-parent's wages will be factored into the FAFSA accounting as well.

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