Month: October 2017

Legal Separation and Annulment

Many clients have questions regarding legal separation or even annulment as alternatives to a divorce.

Legal Separation of Marriage

If you and your spouse are uncertain about divorce, you may want to consider a legal separation. Sometimes a trial separation provides couples considering divorce time and space to decide whether a divorce is the right decision. For many, it is hard to imagine what life will be like after divorcing a spouse, so a legal separation may provide needed clarity.

If you are considering a separation of more than a few months, it is important to protect yourself financially. It is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced divorce lawyer to draft a legally binding separation agreement that spells out the terms under which you will live apart while still married. This may include issues such as:

  • Provisions for spousal support
  • Child support and child custody
  • Property division while separated
  • How expenses and debts will be paid

A legal separation agreement addressing these issues and more is absolutely in your best interests to avoid financial problems in the future should you divorce.

Keep in mind that even if one spouse hopes to reconcile the marriage, the other may have other intentions. Make sure that you gather financial documents from the marital home before you separate and consider closing joint accounts so you are not liable for debts accrued during the period of separation.

If the marriage is truly over, it is recommended that you convert your legal separation into a divorce. If you decide to remain married, you may dismiss the judgement of legal separation.

What about a Wisconsin  Annulment of Marriage?

An annulment is different from a legal separation and a divorce as it is a determination by the court voiding the marriage as if it never existed. A marriage can be voided under certain circumstances such as:

  • One or both of the parties to the marriage were already married at the time of the marriage
  • Either you or your spouse or both were too young to be married
  • You and your spouse are close blood relatives
  • The influence of drugs or alcohol factored into getting married
  • Mental incompetence
  • Unable to consummate marriage

Contact an Experienced Waukesha Family Law Attorney for Help

An experienced divorce lawyer can help you determine if an annulment is possible in your unique circumstances. Whether you decide to divorce, obtain a legal separation or annulment, it is important to seek the help of a knowledgeable divorce attorney to protect your interests. Contact the Waukesha and Milwaukee area family law attorneys of Probst Law Offices, S.C.,  for answers at 414-210-3135.

Parental Alienation

Most children wish to have a good relationship with both parents following divorce. According to research, children often say that the worse thing about a divorce is that they do not get enough time with one or both parents after the split. It may be that the parent they spend the most time with during the week is busy making ends meet on one income or that weekend visits with the other parent just don’t seem like enough. Ideally, parenting plans should strive to provide regular contact with both parents, with an even balance between homes.

On the other side of the coin are children who reject one parent, resist contact or show reluctance to be with one of his or her parents, sometimes resulting in alienation. While some children have good reason to reject a parent, others may suddenly withdraw from a parent with whom they previously had a good relationship aligning themselves with the other parent who may be displaying negative feelings toward their ex-spouse. In these cases, the treatment of the rejected parent is inconsistent to the parent-child relationship they once had and has no apparent relation to the parent’s behavior.

Sometimes, it is a situation in which one parent subconsciously turns their children against the other parent. In extreme cases, one parent may deliberately damage the previously healthy loving relationship between the child and the child’s other parent through various means of manipulation. Unfortunately, this can result in the destruction of the parent child relationship over time.

Of course, pitting a child against his or her parent is a lose – lose situation for the child. The effects for children involved in this tug-of-war have included depression, poor academic performance, self-esteem issues and more. Although emotions can run high in divorce proceedings, and sometimes one parent may wish to punish the other parent, damaging a parent-child relationship  should be off-limits.

Of course, malicious behavior can have legal consequences. Some parental alienation actions may be violations of criminal law if child abuse is an issue or there may be violations of civil law, where a parent is denying court ordered visitation. Both can be considered as factors in any proceeding to gain or adjust custody.

Sometimes it can be difficult to prove that the other parent is negatively influencing your relationship with your child, however, there have been cases successfully litigated. Not only has custody been awarded or modified to the benefit of the targeted parent, but sometimes courts may  require the meddling parent to seek court ordered counseling and to submit to supervise visitation until the problem is resolved.

Contact an Experienced Wisconsin Parental Alienation Family Law Attorney

If you suspect that your ex is interfering with your relationship with your child or is refusing to allow you to see your child, it is important to seek the help of an experienced Wisconsin parental alienation family law attorney. Put decades of experience to work for you and contact the child custody modification lawyers at Probst Law Offices, S.C. for a free and confidential consultation at 414-210-3135.