Child custody laws in Wisconsin are different from those in other states – but even if you’ve lived here your entire life, it’s easy to become confused about what the state requires when it comes to custody and placement. Here’s what you need to know about Wisconsin’s child custody laws and how they apply to you.
Wisconsin Child Custody Laws
In the state of Wisconsin, there are two types of “custody.” One involves legal custody, and the other refers to physical placement of your children.
The term legal custody refers to a parent’s right to make major decisions about a child. These types of decisions include things like non-emergency healthcare, where the child will attend school and what religious upbringing the child will receive.
The term physical placement refers to the time a child spends in each parent’s care. When your child is placed with you, you’re the parent who makes routine daily decisions (like what the child will eat, where the child will spend time and other day-to-day matters). The law doesn’t require each parent to have equal time with the children, but it does require regularly occurring, meaningful periods of placement that maximize the amount of time the kids spend with each parent.
How Do Wisconsin’s Child Custody Laws Solve Custody and Placement Issues?
Your attorney will probably tell you that you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse come up with your own custody agreement. That way, you can keep important decisions about your kids (and their schedules) out of the court’s hands and in yours – after all, you and your ex know your kids best, and you know what will work best for them.
If you and your ex can’t agree on placement, you’ll force the judge in your case to make decisions for you. While judges do remain fair and impartial, they don’t know your family like you do. You and your ex are the most qualified people to work out what’s best for your children.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Wisconsin’s Child Custody Laws?
If you’re considering divorce or if your spouse has already filed, you may need to talk to an attorney about our state’s child custody laws and how they’ll affect your family. Call us at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation with an experienced divorce attorney who can help.