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Dane County Divorce LawyerFor some people who are going through a divorce, the thought of dating and new relationships is the last thing they want to think about. For others, especially when the breakdown of the marriage has been a long time in coming, the thought of meeting new people and dating is exciting. But many people wonder if you should date while your divorce is still pending. A Wisconsin divorce lawyer can help guide you through this and other questions you may have about the divorce process.

The Difficulties Dating May Cause in a Divorce

There are several issues that dating can cause in a divorce, especially one that is already contentious. This is especially true if you have children and there are custody issues that need to be addressed. You can be assured that your spouse’s legal team – and likely your spouse’s friends and family – will be scrutinizing everything you do. This is why you should avoid posting anything on your social media accounts that can be used against you.

However, many people do not realize that dating apps also fall into that category. If you are on a dating app, anything you post on that profile could also be introduced to the court to try to show that you are not looking out for your child’s best interest by bringing strangers into your child’s life. Even if this is not true, the information could still be twisted in such a way that the court may believe it.


The Complexities of High-Asset Divorce

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Dane County divorce lawyerA high-asset divorce is one where the couple has a million dollars or more in assets. While any divorce can be complicated, high asset divorces face unique challenges due to the often complex nature of the assets and property the couple owns. The high asset divorce process typically takes much longer than a standard divorce, often requiring the assistance of not only a Wisconsin divorce attorney experienced in high net-worth divorces, but also involving a variety of financial professionals, as well.

Asset Valuation and Ownership

Many high-net-worth couples own a diverse range of assets. This can include real estate, financial accounts, stocks, bonds, collections, businesses, and more. In order to obtain an accurate total of the marital estate, the value of each of these assets needs to be determined. While the value of some assets may be simple (i.e., a retirement account), determining the value of other accounts may be more difficult (i.e., business valuation).

The ownership of some of these assets may also be in question – is the asset a marital asset (acquired during the marriage) or is it separate property (owned prior to the marriage)? Only those assets that are determined to be marital assets are included in any division of assets in the final divorce settlement.


How Are Debts Divided in a Wisconsin Divorce?

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Dane County, WI divorce lawyerOne of the most common issues that comes up when discussing the topic of divorce is the division of assets that the couple has acquired during their marriage. When a couple makes the decision to divorce, those assets need to be divided between the two of them. The majority of states use the equitable distribution principle, which means that each spouse will receive an equitable share of the assets, but not that share will not necessarily be 50 percent. However, Wisconsin is a community property state, which means that in most cases, a couple’s assets will be divided in a 50/50 split.

One issue that many do not consider is that the debts of the marriage also need to be included in the division of the marital estate. The following is a brief overview of how this division is often done. For more detailed information about your situation, consider speaking with a divorce attorney.

Identifying Marital Debt

The first step in deciding how a couple’s debts will be divided is identifying and categorizing which debts are marital and which debts are separate. Marital debts are those that were taken on during the marriage and used for the benefit of the family and/or household. Separate debts are those that were acquired either before the couple was married or after the couple separated. In most situations, the marital debt will be divided, but the separate debt will remain the responsibility of the spouse who incurred the debt.


Madison Family LawyerWhen a person is arrested for operating while intoxicated (OWI) in Wisconsin, they face the potential of harsh penalties if convicted, including suspended driver’s license, fines, and even the potential of jail time if they have prior offenses. Another very critical issue that an OWI conviction can cause is the significant impact it can have on child custody.

Child custody is awarded based on what is in the best interest of the child and if there is any behavior by either parent that raises concerns about the safety and well-being of the child, the court may find it relevant enough to impact its decision. The following are some of the ways an OWI conviction can affect the court’s decision.

Parental Fitness

Family law judges place a high emphasis on the safety and well-being of the child. An OWI conviction may imply to the court that the parent’s behavior is irresponsible and a high risk to the child’s safety. The conviction may also raise concerns about the parent’s ability to prioritize the child’s needs and their ability to make sound decisions.


Madison Family Law AttorneyWhen married parents decide to legally end their relationship, one of the key issues that will be addressed in their divorce is child custody. However, when parents who were never legally married decide to end their relationship, there is no required legal process and so addressing child custody and parenting time must be pursued in a legal action all on its own. There are unique issues that unmarried parents must address that married parents do not. The following is a brief overview of this process. For more detailed information about your particular circumstances, contact a child custody lawyer.

Parental Rights

Under Wisconsin law, when parents are unmarried, the mother has sole custody until there is a court order that says otherwise. In order to pursue any parental rights, the father’s name must be on the child’s birth certificate. Otherwise, the father will need to ask the court to establish paternity before any type of custody or parenting time can be awarded. This can be done through genetic testing or signing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity

Although mothers have sole custody in the above situation, it should never be assumed that mothers have greater custody rights than fathers. When paternity has been established, both parents have equal parenting rights under the law and any custody decisions the court makes are based on the best interest of the child doctrine.

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