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Milwaukee, WI divorce attorney for child custodyBy Attorney Max Stephenson

During your divorce, you and your spouse will need to resolve issues regarding the custody of your children. In Wisconsin, child custody may be granted solely to one parent, giving them the responsibility to make decisions about how the child will be raised. However, in most cases, the court will decide that the parents should have joint or shared custody, and divorced or separated parents will work together to make decisions for their children. Joint custody is usually appropriate if both parents are able to perform parental duties, are able to work together, and have no current conditions or conflicts that would affect the children or their environment.

In addition to child custody, a divorce agreement will address the physical placement of children, which refers to the time the child will spend with each parent. Even if one parent is granted sole custody, the other parent may be allocated a reasonable amount of physical placement.

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Milwaukee retirement account division attorneysSplitting assets in a divorce can be a stressful process. In many cases, retirement accounts are some of the most valuable assets owned by a couple, and as with other marital property, they should be divided equally between spouses. Even if you do not expect to use the funds in your retirement account until many years in the future, it is still considered a marital asset that is measured by its current or predicted value. Unless your retirement accounts were established prior to your marriage or are protected within a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, they will need to be split 50/50 between you and your spouse.

Addressing Common Types of Retirement Accounts

The three major types of retirement benefits that may need to be divided during a divorce include:

  • IRAs - An individual retirement account that can house a wide variety of financial products, including stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. 
  • 401(k)s - A 401(k) plan is a company-backed retirement account that employees can contribute to. In many cases, employers will match a certain percentage of an employee’s contributions.
  • 403(b)s - A 403(b) is a retirement account for certain employees of public schools and tax-exempt organizations. Those who may have a 403(b) account include teachers, school administrators, professors, government employees, nurses, doctors, and librarians.

Splitting Retirement Accounts

Retirement savings can be split in one of two ways:

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Milwaukee, WI LGBT divorce attorney

By Attorney Max Stephenson

While same-sex marriage has been legal for several years in Wisconsin and nationwide, some novel and difficult issues related to same-sex divorce continue to be considered by the courts. Those going through a same-sex divorce should be aware of these issues and the possible outcomes that may result.

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Milwaukee, WI divorce business valuation attorneyIf you are a business owner going through a divorce, it is critical that you understand the laws surrounding community property and asset division and how they relate to your company. For many people, a business is considered community property, which means that both spouses own the business under Wisconsin law. This is true even if only one spouse is involved in the business.

If a business will be classified as community property, it must be properly valued so that business assets can be divided during divorce. It is possible that the spouse who is more involved with the business will retain ownership, and the other spouse will receive different marital assets of an equal value.

The Business Valuation Process

The most common way for a business valuation to occur is to hire a forensic accountant to review business records and other material. Information that will be reviewed  includes:

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Milwaukee WI divorce child custody attorneyThere are numerous child custody concerns that need to be addressed as part of divorce proceedings. The resolution of these issues can have a huge influence on your children for years to come, so it is important to understand what a typical child custody proceeding entails.

Types of Custody

In Wisconsin, there are two types of custody, and both types must be negotiated or litigated during a divorce case. The first type is called legal custody, which refers to the right of a parent to decide major life decisions for their child. These determinations include where a child will go to school and attend church, as well as decisions about medical care issues. In many cases, a court will allow both parents to have a say in these decisions.

The second type of custody in Wisconsin is physical placement, which refers to where a child lives. This type of custody could be sole or joint. Even if one parent has sole custody, the other parent may have visitation rights as well as legal custody rights.

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Wisconsin high asset divorce attorneyProperty division is a component of any divorce, and in a high net worth divorce, this issue can be complex and hotly contested. Such divorces may require the assistance of forensic accountants to review voluminous financial documents and tax specialists to determine the tax costs and implications of dividing or transferring ownership of property.

Dividing Large and Complex Assets

It is usually accepted that a high net worth divorce involves liquid assets totaling more than $1 million. Those who fit this description often have a variety of businesses and accounts that have been created in order to take advantage of tax laws as well as to diversify assets.

In all cases of asset division, an attorney will first seek to identify what property is part of the marital estate. In Wisconsin, any property acquired or income earned by either spouse during the marriage is considered community property. 

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Milwaukee alimony and divorce lawyerDivorce is common in the United States, and every day, people choose to end their marriages for a variety of reasons. However, many people choose to say married for financial reasons. When two people have merged their lives, one spouse may become financially dependent on the other, and in these cases, the dependent person may believe that he or she has no option other than to stay in the marriage despite wanting a divorce.

In this scenario, Wisconsin courts will entertain a request for spousal maintenance, which is commonly referred to as alimony. A spouse may seek spousal maintenance regardless of how the marriage ended.

It is important to keep in mind the purpose of alimony. Spousal maintenance is not meant to punish a party. Rather, it is meant to support one spouse and allow them to maintain the standard of living they were accustomed to during the marriage. 

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spousal maintenance, child support payments, divorcing spouses,  Milwaukee divorce attorneys, federal tax reformIn December 2017, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which made the most significant changes to the federal tax code in the last three decades. Since the tax reform law was passed, the news has been filled with discussion of its impact on people in the United States.

While many reports have focused factors such as corporate tax rates, one less-discussed update to the law will have a major impact on divorcing couples, changing the way taxes apply to spousal maintenance (also known as alimony or spousal support).

How is Spousal Maintenance Taxed?

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Posted on in Divorce

Milwaukee divorce attorneys, text messages and divorce, social media and divorce, divorce process, divorce evidenceIn the 21st century, the electronic devices which we carry around in our pockets provide us with a great deal of convenience by allowing us to access information and communicate with others from nearly anywhere. However, this increased level of connectivity also comes with a price. In some cases, the messages people send on their phones may be used against them.

During a divorce, heated disputes can often arise as spouses seek to resolve issues such as property division, child custody, and child support. During this time, spouses’ actions may be closely scrutinized, and they may find that text messages sent in a moment of anger could have consequences. There are a number of ways that these types of messages could end up being part of a divorce.

Grounds for Divorce

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