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Milwaukee, WI 53202
Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP

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Milwaukee, WI prenup attorneyBy Attorney Max Stephenson

Asking your partner to get a prenuptial agreement can make for an awkward conversation. Before you take this difficult step, it is a good idea to consider whether a prenup actually makes sense for your personal situation. Not every couple needs a prenuptial agreement, but there are situations where one can be beneficial. If a prenup will help to protect your financial interests and give one or both partners greater peace of mind, it may be worth the initial awkwardness.

What Can a Prenuptial Agreement Include?

What is commonly known as a prenuptial agreement is called a “marital property agreement” under Wisconsin law, and it is actually possible to create one either before or during your marriage. As the name suggests, the primary purpose of such an agreement is to clarify matters involving property and finances. Some of the things that a Wisconsin prenuptial agreement can address include:

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Waukesha County family law firmMilwaukee, WI divorce attorney for child custody modificationBy Attorney Max Stephenson and Family Law Paralegal Courtney Hess

When you are getting a divorce, arriving at an agreement on the legal custody and physical placement of your children can be a challenging process as you try to prioritize your children’s best interests while balancing the needs of both parents. It is not uncommon for this process to continue even after the issuance of your child custody order, as the needs of everyone involved may change in the years following your divorce. If you find that the original order is no longer feasible or desirable, it may be time to pursue a modification.

When Can Custody and/or Placement Be Legally Modified?

In most cases, a Wisconsin child custody/placement order cannot be modified for the first two years after it is issued. However, you may be able to make the case for an early modification if you can demonstrate that circumstances have changed such that the current order is dangerous or harmful to your children. This could be the case if information comes to light regarding the other parent’s abusive behavior, or the behavior of a new romantic partner introduced to the children. The court may also consider a modification to physical placement within two years if it does not substantially change the time that either parent spends with the children.

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Milwaukee, WI physical placement attorneyBy Attorney Max Stephenson

For parents and children alike, one of the hardest parts of a divorce is adjusting to a life split between two households. In most cases, neither parent is able to spend the time with their kids that they did before the divorce. This can be extremely difficult on an emotional level, and it can also involve logistical challenges related to arranging schedules and transportation. 

You may take some solace in the fact that Wisconsin law recognizes the importance of a child’s relationship with both parents, and courts will usually make an effort to grant both parents meaningful time with their children. That said, it is still important that you understand the factors the court will consider in decisions regarding physical placement so that you can make a strong case for an arrangement that meets your family’s needs.

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Milwaukee, WI family law attorney for step-parent and same-sex adoptionBy Attorney Max Stephenson

Adopting a child can make a huge difference in his or her life by providing a loving parent and a source of safety, support, and stability. That said, a successful adoption also requires a major commitment on the part of the parent, and that starts with making sure that you follow the appropriate legal procedures to make the adoption possible. Here are some important things to note about three common types of adoption to help you prepare for your adoption process:

Wisconsin Step-Parent Adoptions

If you have married someone who already has children, you may be able to proceed with a step-parent adoption to become their legal guardian. This is only possible if the children’s other biological parent is deceased or has had his or her parental rights terminated. During the process of a step-parent adoption, you may need to obtain consent to the termination of rights from the other parent, or you may need to demonstrate to the court that the other parent is unfit. You will then typically need to file a petition for adoption, submit to an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF), and attend a court hearing where the judge will rule on the adoption.

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Waukesha County family law firmMilwaukee, WI criminal defense and family law attorneysBy Attorney Max Stephenson and Family Law Paralegal Courtney Hess

If you are facing criminal charges, you are likely concerned about the potential penalties, including fines and imprisonment. However, the impact a conviction may have on your parental rights regarding your current and future children can be equally concerning. Convictions for violent and sensitive crimes, in particular, can impact your relationship with your children, so it is important that you hire a skilled attorney who can help you defend against false, exaggerated, or unfair allegations.

Criminal Records and Child Custody in Wisconsin

One way that a criminal record can affect your parental rights in Wisconsin is in legal proceedings involving child custody and placement, including after a divorce or separation. When determining whether to award a parent sole or joint custody of a child, the court will consider first and foremost whether the decision is in the child’s best interests. If a parent has a history of child abuse, interspousal abuse, other forms of domestic abuse, or alcohol and drug abuse, the court may rule that the parent poses a risk to the child’s well-being, and it may award full custody to the other parent as a result. Relevant criminal convictions may be used as evidence to establish a parent’s history of abuse.

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