Understanding Child Custody and Placement In Wisconsin

Jul 31, 2017

ParentSplitandchild1.jpgWhether you are going through a divorce or have a child custody case, the most important issue is going to be custody and placement of your minor children. Since it is so important, understanding the difference between child custody and child placement is necessary.


Child custody, also known as legal custody, is the legal right to take care of the major decisions concerning your child, such as education, religion and medical care. In Wisconsin, the court strives to decide what is in the best interest of the child. For child custody, the court starts with each party sharing joint custody of the child unless it is determined that one parent having sole custody is in the best interest of the child.


Child Placement, also known as physical placement, refers to who the child lives with and for what periods of time. Again, the court strives for what is in the best interest of the child. Unless there is evidence of child abuse, alcohol abuse or drug abuse, the court will strive to achieve equal placement, adjusting the schedule based on the details of the case. If you desire more placement, or believe 50/50 placement is not in the best interest of your child, you will need to fight for it.


Best case scenario is an agreement on child custody and placement by the parties. If an agreement is made that both parties approve the court will enter it into the final order. If an agreement on child custody and placement cannot be reached, the court will order you to mediation. If an agreement cannot be reached at mediation, then the court will appoint a Guardian ad Litem to your case who will conduct interviews and make a recommendation to the court on any unresolved issues.


In the State of Wisconsin, once a final order has been entered regarding child custody and placement, there is a two year minimum time frame that needs to pass before the court will consider modifying the order, unless it is agreed to by both parties. If less than two years have passed, you will need to prove the child is not safe and facing physical or emotional abuse under the current order.


The custody and placement of your child is one of the most important issues in your case and getting it right the first time is crucial. Pedersen Law Office, LLC offers free consults in all of our areas of practice and will meet with you personally to discuss your specific circumstances and see what options are available for you. Our law office serves the communities of Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Oshkosh, Green Bay and their surrounding areas.

Category: Divorce

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