Compassionate, Quality Representation In Divorce And Family Law Matters

The term family law encompasses a wide array of legal issues from divorce, child custody, visitation and adoption to premarital agreements, guardianships, annulments and paternity. The attorneys at Steinhilber Swanson LLP understand the emotional turmoil that goes hand in hand with their representation of you. We will help you along the rocky path and help you find the light at the end of the tunnel.

You need good legal representation to guide you in these difficult and life-changing issues. Our family law attorneys offer a broad scope of knowledge and experience in family law matters. If you have an impending legal issue in your family, call Steinhilber Swanson LLP for an appointment to explore your legal options.

Child Custody, Visitation And Support

In determining child custody, visitation and child support, the court will take into consideration your job, the hours you work, and your ability to work with the other parent to make decisions and co-parent, as well as your child's best interests and need for a safe and stable environment. The Wisconsin child support guidelines that courts use to set child support payment amounts are called the Percentage of Income Standard. This standard considers the income of the parents, the amount of time the child spends with each parent and whether the parents are supporting other children. A child custody lawyer may be a separate attorney from the person who represented you during a divorce. In a situation where custody, visitation or child support is being contested, the court may order a paternity test to determine or exclude a responsible party.

Adoption

Adoption is a judicial proceeding that transfers all rights and responsibilities of a natural parent, if known, to an adoptive parent. The procedures as set out by law are intended to protect the best interests of the children and the rights of parents or guardians. The court will generally not grant an adoption unless the child's parents and guardian, if there is one, consent to the adoption. However, there are instances in which consent is not necessary.

Premarital Agreements

A premarital or prenuptial/prenup agreement typically addresses many of the issues that arise in the divorce process. These agreements are crafted to resolve ahead of time many questions that are difficult to answer during the emotionally charged period of divorce.

Guardianships

A guardianship may be necessary when an elderly person is no longer able to safely make his or her own decisions, or when a child needs a guardian either temporarily or permanently. Guardianships may be "of the person" (for decisions relating to the person's well-being) or "of the estate" (for decisions relating to the person's finances) or both.

In the case of an adult guardianship, a court must decide that a person is no longer competent to manage his or her own affairs and then must appoint a guardian for him or her. Often the person appointed will be an adult child of the person in need of guardianship. A medical examination and physician's testimony are required to establish mental or physical incompetency.

Guardianship proceedings are initiated through a petition. Once guardianship is established, the appointee will be responsible for making medical and financial decisions for the ward. Guardians must make annual reports to the court.

Paternity

A determination of paternity is used to establish custody and visitation rights as well as to set child support.