Family law is a complex area of the law. It is the legal area that deals with family relationships, like marriages and the relationship between a parent and his or her children. Although any type of legal proceeding can be emotionally trying, working through a family case can be especially so because these are the legal processes that can permanently impact some of your closest relationships.
Our team works with clients who are facing the following types of legal issue:
Two or more of these issues can be present at once. For example, an individual who is going through a divorce might need to establish a child custody order, a child support order, and an alimony order as part of the divorce process. We are equipped to handle multiple issues at once for our clients.
You have specific goals for your case. These can include a specific parenting plan, a specific breakdown of your marital estate in a divorce, or an alimony order that provides you with enough money to continue living the lifestyle you enjoyed during your marriage. Part of your lawyer’s job is to help you pursue your specific family law goals.
Many family law decisions are made based on what the court determines to be appropriate based on the involved parties’ circumstances and needs, rather than any specific legal requirement. To make these kinds of determination, the court considers various sets of factors about the couple and when relevant, their children. Factors the court may consider to determine an appropriate parenting plan for a divorcing couple’s children include:
For an alimony order, the court may consider:
Gender is not a factor the court considers when creating family law orders. An individual of any gender can seek or be required to pay alimony after a divorce, and the court may not consider parents’ genders when creating parenting plans.
Sometimes, pursuing your family law goals means revisiting previous court rulings. One of these is the appeals process, which allows individuals who feel their cases were mishandled in court to have the rulings revisited and potentially overturned. If you feel the law was misapplied to your case, your lawyer can advise you about appealing the court’s decision. Another way to pursue family law goals is to revisit and revise your existing family law orders. For example, if a few years after your divorce, you feel your parenting plan no longer serves your children’s needs like it did when the divorce was initially finalized, you can work with the court to modify the parenting plan order. When you take this action, the court can work with you to support your position and pursue the change.
Any lawyer’s job is to be the client’s advocate. In short, this means acting in the client’s best interest and promoting his or her rights and interests. Within the realm of family law, a lawyer’s role is slightly different than it is in other legal areas, such as business and criminal law. Other legal areas are more straightforward, more black and white than family law. With criminal defense, the goal is to demonstrate that the defendant is not guilty of the charge he or she is facing. With family law, the right outcome is one that serves all involved parties’ best interests.
Negotiation is a key part of family law. When you are developing an appropriate settlement for your divorce, your lawyer will negotiate with your spouse’s lawyer and the court to reach a fair, appropriate settlement for you. If you choose to divorce through collaboration, your lawyer can advise you about how to negotiate effectively with your spouse to achieve your divorce goals while making it possible for him or her to achieve his or her own goals as well.
Part of being your advocate is explaining to you how the court comes to the rulings it makes. Wisconsin is a community property state, which means that all of your marital property belongs to you and your spouse equally. Marital property is the property you obtained during the marriage with the exception of property obtained through inheritance and as gifts. In your divorce, your marital property must be divided equally unless you are completing an uncontested divorce and request a different breakdown of your marital estate. Your lawyer can advise you about what to pursue in your property division settlement and how to support any claims you make about it.
Additionally, your lawyer can help you defend your case against any false accusations you face. For example, if you are facing a child abuse allegation, our team can work with you to defend your case against it by providing evidence that shows that you are not abusing your child.
When you are facing a family law issue, you need to work with a lawyer who can be your advocate. In family law, there are no “winners” and “losers,” just outcomes that suit every family member’s best interest. Contact our team of experienced divorce lawyers in Green Bay at Hammett, Bellin & Oswald, LLC today to set up your initial legal consultation with us to learn more about navigating the often confusing, emotionally charged realm of family law.