Navigating your way through a family law case can be very difficult and stressful for most people. Our attorneys have decades of experience in handling a wide variety of family cases. Our firm handled hundreds of family law cases including divorce, pre-marital planning, marital property agreements, guardianships, adoption, co-habitation agreements, separation agreements, paternity cases, or changes in child custody or placement. The family law attorneys at Monahan & Johnson, S.C. are here to assist families in the Beloit – Janesville WI area.
Physical placement refers to the time the child spends with each parent. In many cases the parties will reach an agreement as to placement and custody issues. If the parties cannot agree, then the court will decide those issues.In determining physical placement, the court will require certain things from the parties. For instance, the parties might be required to file what is called a “Parenting Plan” with the court. The parents will often be ordered to attend mediation, to see if they can work out a placement schedule themselves. In addition, the court will also appoint an attorney, who is called a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL), who conducts an investigation and makes recommendations to the court, regarding placement and custody issues. Ultimately, the court will make its determination based upon what it believes to be in the child’s best interest. Physical placement varies from case to case, depending on the circumstances of the parties, and a variety of factors. For example, the court can order what is commonly called a “shared placement” whereby both parents have as close to an equal amount of time with the child(ren) as possible. In the alternative, one parent could be awarded what is called “primary placement” whereby the child spends a majority of his or her time with one parent.
If one parent has placement less than 25% of the time, the court will normally base child support on a percentage of that person’s gross income. For one child the percentage is 17%; two children is 25%, three children is 29%, four children is 31% and for five or more, 34%.
OTHER ISSUES INVOLVING CHILDREN
In addition, the Court can order changes in child custody or placement after a Divorce Order or other order has been entered. Typically such a change will only be considered if at least two years have passed since entry of the last order and there has been a showing of a significant change in circumstances. There are certain exceptions to this “two-year” rule to ensure that a child is not at risk of emotional or physical harm. Those exceptions are limited and very case specific. A thorough discussion of the facts of your case with an attorney would be necessary.
DIVISION OF MARITAL ASSETS AND DEBTS
Typically, a judge will start with the presumption that the property and debts are going to be divided equally. However, a judge does not have to divide the property equally, based upon a number of factors. For instance, a judge can look at the health of the parties, the earning capacity of each person, what property each brought to the marriage, the length of the marriage, and any other factor the court thinks would be relevant.
A divorce case can have significant ramifications for you not only now, but far into the future. Our experienced attorneys at Monahan & Johnson, S.C. are here to assist you in navigating your way through the court system during this very difficult process. Our attorneys are sensitive to the issues you are facing. In addition, our attorneys will fight for your rights to insure no one is taking advantage of you!