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Milwaukee Family, Elder And Estate Law Blog

The first steps to take if your spouse asks for a divorce

Even if you think your marriage is on solid ground, it's always possible your spouse could ask for a divorce. While you don't want to worry about this your entire life, should your spouse bring divorce to light you must know how to properly deal with the circumstances.

Here are the first steps to take if your spouse asks for a divorce:

  • Find out why: It's okay to ask your spouse why they want a divorce, as it will clear the air and give you a better idea of what went wrong. In some cases, you may not have any idea of why they want to go down this path.
  • Ask if there's another option: If you're all right with working things out, see if your spouse is willing to consider marriage counseling or therapy. You don't want to beg them, but it's okay to see if it's an option.
  • Talk about the timeline: You shouldn't discuss the finer details of the divorce process, such as who will keep the family home, but a basic timeline can help the both of you plan for the future and make more informed decisions.
  • Take time for yourself: Immediately after this conversation, take time to process what's happening and think about what you need to do next. There's a lot going through your mind, so take as much time as necessary to figure things out.
  • Be open to answering questions: If your soon-to-be ex-spouse has questions, be open to answering them. If your children are wondering what's going on, provide them with as much age-appropriate information as possible. It's easy to shut yourself off from everyone else when you're faced with divorce, but it will only make things worse.

Property division and the fate of your business post-divorce

If you and your spouse are facing divorce, your family business will likely be the focal point in the property division phase of proceedings.

There are three basic options to consider, two of which require establishing a valuation for your business. Consider the pros and cons of each option before making a decision.

Your divorce does not reflect poorly on the gay rights movement

If you are an adult, you lived in a time when gay marriage was not the law of the land. Beginning even before the protests at the Stonewall bar, LGBT Americans fought for equal protection under the law. After years of hard work, the U.S. Supreme Court held that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry

Whether you went to the courthouse or had a huge ceremony with family and friends, your marriage was a special day. Perhaps, given the struggles of the LGBT community, your nuptials were even more meaningful than they are for heterosexual couples. As such, if your marriage is heading for divorce, you may not only feel you have failed as a spouse, but also that you have let down the gay rights movement. 

The Danger of Social Media in Family Law - Anything You Say or Post Can Be Used Against You.

Can My Social Media Postings Be Used in Court? Yes. Social media postings are no different than other evidence. In order to be admissible in court, social media postings must be relevant, authenticated and admissible at trial.

Common legal issues caregivers go through

Caregivers have an immensely difficult job. The state of Wisconsin recently approved funding that would help caregivers of children with autism get the training needed to prevent regression in the child. 

Caregivers of senior citizens have their own unique challenges. Numerous laws exist to protect the rights of the cared-for party, and some caregivers face significant obstacles in doing their jobs. It is vital for anyone considering being a senior's caregiver to be aware of some of the legal issues that may arise during the process. 

Pooled Trusts: An Alternative to Special Needs Trusts

Special needs trust often are the first "go to" option for persons with disabilities who are in danger of losing valuable public benefits due to the receipt of an inheritance, personal injury award or divorce settlement. In most cases, the use of a properly drafted special needs trust will preserve the beneficiary's eligibility for public benefits, such as SSI and Medicaid, while the trust assets provide for the beneficiary's needs and wants.

Most common estate planning mistakes

The biggest mistake anyone can make with an estate plan is to not have one at all. Although no one likes thinking about their demise, it is still essential to have a basic estate planning document in place. Over half of Americans lack the essentials in this regard. 

It is not enough to simply have the documents. You need to ensure you have written them correctly to ensure the state carries out your wishes exactly as you intend. You want to avoid the following mistakes at all costs.