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What exactly is a means test?

If you're drowning in debt, then you may have considered filing for bankruptcy as a way to resolve your financial problems. It may not be as easy as it seems though. You must first pass a means test before you can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

There are two steps to the means test. The first part aims to help you discover how much disposable income you have. You may only be able to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy if your household income falls below the Wisconsin state median income for your family size. You'll need to proceed to the second step of the means test to determine that for sure.

What are the requirements to file for divorce in Wisconsin?

While you'd think that anyone would be able to file a divorce petition to end their marriage if they wanted to, Wisconsin and every other state in the country has specific requirements that you must meet to do so.

One of the first requirements that you have to meet to file for divorce in Wisconsin is to prove that either you or your spouse have been actual residents in the state for the past six months before your filing.

Take stock now of your estate plan

You've done your due diligence and drafted your estate planning documents. You should be good to go, right?

Not necessarily. You might still need to refine your estate plan in order to better protect your assets. You also might want to provide a certain level of control and peace of mind for your loved ones. Read on to see if you need to do any of the following:

How can you choose the right chapter of bankruptcy?

Making the choice to file for bankruptcy is not easy. If you are considering this step, it is likely because you are dealing with bills you can't pay, balances you can no longer manage and constant contact from debt collectors. After deciding to file, you must then determine which of the two most common chapters of consumer bankruptcy, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, is right for you.

The optimal choice for your bankruptcy filing depends on the details of your individual financial situation. The types of debt you have and other factors will determine how you should move forward. Understanding the differences between the two chapters and eligibility requirements can help you move forward with the right option without delay or complications.

Are you making one of these estate planning errors?

You want your loved ones to be secure after you're gone, so you know it's important to have your estate plans in order well before your death. However, even the best laid plans can be disrupted simply because people aren't aware of the mistakes they're making.

Could you be guilty of one of the following major mistakes when it comes to your estate plans?

Ask these questions before an adoption

Adoption is something you have always wanted to do. Even before you got married, you knew that it was your calling. You wanted to provide a home to a child that wouldn't have one otherwise. Now that you are married, you and your spouse are thinking about starting the process.

This is an exciting and yet very serious process to begin. You absolutely must know that you are ready. Remember the impact this has not just on you, but on the child. Here are a few questions you should ask:

  • Is your career compatible with starting a family or adopting another child into your family?
  • Are you and your spouse on the same page with what you want?
  • Is your marriage fairly stable and likely to last, giving the child a stable home life?
  • Does your lifestyle fit with having a child? For instance, if you travel a lot and have a hectic schedule, raising a child can be difficult.
  • Where are you at financially? Can you cover all of the various costs of raising a child, beyond the cost of the adoption itself?
  • What does your health look like? Are you generally healthy and able to care for a child properly?
  • Have you really considered how this is a long-term investment in terms of time, money and emotion? It is something that is going to change your life forever, and there is no going back.

Tips for picking your next commercial space

Do you run a business? Are you tired of operating the business out of your own home? Do you need more space for a growing company? If so, it's time to consider renting or buying commercial space for your company. This can be very challenging, especially if you don't have the budget for renovations or to build a brand new complex.

The first step in finding new commercial space for your company is to build a list of the features you'd like to have. Make sure they are attainable features, especially if you have a limited budget. The features should be ranked by a matter of importance and need.

Avoid social media when going through a divorce

Going through a divorce is a tough time in life. You've come to the realization that the marriage is no longer viable. Even though you've fought tooth and nail to save the marriage, there comes a time where you just need to admit that there's nothing else that can be done. If you file for divorce, or your spouse files for divorce, you need to refrain from social media use for a variety of reasons.

Using social media while going through a divorce can be detrimental for your case, especially if you use it to constantly bash your spouse. This will only backfire as anyone can find your post and share it with your spouse or their attorney.

Worried about co-parent problems this back to school season?

Just because you filed for divorce this past summer, it doesn't necessarily have to ruin your children's back-to-school season. As Wisconsin students and others throughout the country are heading back to their classrooms, even families with both parents living under the same roof encounter challenges. It takes time to get back into a school routine and to workout all the glitches that arise during the first few weeks.

It's a good idea, however, to acknowledge that your divorce has likely prompted numerous changes in your children's lives. Some of those changes may unfold in the school environment. Therefore, the more you discuss and plan ahead, the easier it might be to avoid problems. It's also a good idea to know how to tap into support resources, as needed.

Going back to school as a co-parent

It's that time of year again: back to school. Children all over Wisconsin are sad and disappointed that their summer has come to an end. Meanwhile, parents are anticipating the first day of school like it's their birthday. If you are involved in a co-parent relationship, it's important to handle the new school year appropriately in order to reduce your child's stress as much as possible.

There must be an open line of communication with the other parent about school issues. This can be done via text, email or phone calls. Either way, it must be done. Problems with your child's education will arise. They can be a failing grade, an incomplete project, detention, bullying and more. You must be able to talk to the other parent openly about anything that happens at your child's school.

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