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330 East Kilbourn Avenue, Suite 1170
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP

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Phone414-271-1440

milwaukee divorce lawyerBy: Attorney Max Stephenson and Paralegal Courtney Hess

Since 2014, same-sex marriage has been legal in Wisconsin, and LGBTQ couples have the same rights as opposite-sex husbands and wives. These rights also extend to divorce, and if a same-sex couple chooses to end their marriage, each spouse’s rights will be protected when addressing issues such as property division and spousal support. Same-sex parents will also usually have the right to share child custody. However, there are some complications that may arise in these cases, and LGBTQ parents should be aware of how these matters may be handled when they get divorced or when partners break up.

Issues Related to Child Custody in an LGBTQ Divorce

Wolf v. Walker, the Wisconsin Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage, made it clear that when the state’s laws refer to a “husband and wife,” this also includes same-sex couples. This means that same-sex parents will share the same rights toward children as opposite-sex parents. This may become an issue when determining paternity for a child. If a child is born to a mother who is legally married, her spouse will be recognized as the child’s parent, regardless of that spouse’s sex. This will ensure that a same-sex spouse will have parental rights if the parents get divorced, even if the spouse is not the child’s biological parent.

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milwaukee family law attorneyBy: Attorney Max T. Stephenson and Paralegal Courtney M. Hess

Most people are familiar with the concept of prenuptial agreements, which are signed by a couple before they get married and address how matters will be handled if they decide to get a divorce in the future. In many cases, a couple may not feel that they need this type of agreement at the time of their marriage, since neither spouse may own significant assets that would need to be protected. However, after multiple years of marriage, the issues that would be addressed in a prenup may become relevant, and either or both spouses may want to put protections in place if the possibility of divorce does enter the picture. In these cases, a couple may consider creating a postnuptial agreement.

When to Use a Postnuptial Agreement

As with a prenup, a postnup can address issues related to a couple’s finances and property and make decisions about what will happen in a potential divorce. An agreement can specify that certain assets are separate property that one spouse will own following a divorce, or it can detail how different assets will be allocated between the spouses during the property division process. An agreement may also make decisions about spousal maintenance, such as by specifying the amount and duration of payments that one spouse will pay to the other following divorce or by waiving a spouse’s right to receive spousal support.

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milwaukee child custody lawyerBy: Paralegal Courtney Hess

Since 2018, Wisconsin law requires a parent to obtain approval before moving with their child more than 100 miles away from the other parent, regardless of whether the move is within Wisconsin or out of state. If the parents can agree to the terms of the relocation, whether on their own or with the assistance of a court-ordered mediator, then the move can usually proceed as planned. However, Wisconsin courts have the authority to deny a parent’s request for relocation depending on the circumstances.

Reasons for Denying Parental Relocation

There are a number of reasons why a Wisconsin court may decide that a parent should not be permitted to relocate with their child, some of which include:

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Milwaukee, WI family law firmMilwaukee, WI divorce and child custody attorneyBy Attorney Max T. Stephenson and Paralegal Courtney M. Hess

If you are getting a divorce or attempting to establish a child support or child custody order with your child’s other parent, you may have at least considered the idea of representing yourself throughout the legal process. Perhaps you are worried about the costs of hiring an attorney, or you may feel that you and the other party are in agreement to the extent that legal representation is not necessary. However, choosing to represent yourself can have many unexpected consequences, and it may prevent you from achieving your desired outcome. Here are five reasons why trying to represent yourself in Wisconsin family court could be the wrong decision:

Representing Yourself Is a Large Time Commitment

If you decide to represent yourself, you will need to be prepared to invest a substantial amount of time in your case. Ensuring that you are well-informed about the legal process may require many hours of research, and you will also need to be present for all required court hearings and appearances. If you have other important time commitments, like working a job or caring for your children, finding time to represent yourself can be difficult.

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Waukesha County family law firmMilwaukee child custody lawyer for establishing paternityBy Attorney Max T. Stephenson and Paralegal Courtney M. Hess

Until recently, Wisconsin parents seeking to establish the legal paternity of a child could do so in one of three ways. Two of those methods, a Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment and an Acknowledgment of Marital Child, require the consent of both parents, which is not easy to obtain when the parents are in disagreement. The third method, petitioning for a court hearing, can help to resolve disagreements between parents, but it may come with a significant investment of time and money on the part of the parties to the case.

However, since August 2020, a new method known as Conclusive Determination of Paternity can help parents resolve paternity cases without requiring the extensive involvement of the court. If you are an unmarried or alleged parent, it is a good idea to learn about the process of conclusive determination to understand how it could affect your case.

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