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What Factors Are Considered in a Wisconsin Child Custody Case?

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Milwaukee, WI divorce lawyers, Wisconsin child custody case, child custody case, Wisconsin family law, divorcing parentsDuring a divorce, disputes about how parents will divide responsibility for their children and where children will live can be highly contentious. When divorcing parents in Wisconsin are working to make decisions about their children, it is important to understand how the state’s child custody laws affect these matters.

Legal Custody and Physical Placement

Wisconsin law divides decisions about child custody into two categories: legal custody and physical placement. Legal custody involves the right to make decisions about a child’s care and upbringing, including the medical care he or she receives, where he or she will go to school, the choice of religion, and permission to obtain a driver’s license, join the military, or get married. Physical placement (also known as visitation) refers to the time a child spends in each parent’s care.

In Wisconsin, it is presumed to be in a child’s best interests for parents to share legal custody equally with neither parent having more decision-making authority than the other parent. The court will allocate physical placement between parents in a way that ensures a child has regular amounts of meaningful time with both parents, and thus, maximizing the time spent with each parent.

When making decisions about child custody, courts will consider a number of factors to determine what is in a child’s best interests. These factors include:

  • The wishes of the parents and the child;
  • A child’s relationship with his or her parents, siblings, family members, or anyone else who plays a significant role in his or her life;
  • The amount and quality of time parents have spent with a child in the past as well as any lifestyle changes that may affect a parent’s ability to spend time with his or her child;
  • How well the child has adjusted to his or her home, school, and surrounding community;
  • The child’s age and his or her developmental and educational needs;
  • How the mental and physical health of parents, children, and anyone else involved in a child’s life will affect the child’s well-being;
  • The parents’ ability to cooperate with each other including each parent’s willingness to encourage and facilitate his or her child’s relationship with the other parent;
  • Whether either parent or anyone else in a household has a history of child abuse, domestic violence, or substance abuse;
  • The reports of professionals who have been asked to advise on the case, after these reports have been submitted as evidence in court; and
  • Any other relevant factors.

Contact a Milwaukee Child Custody Attorney

During divorce, the decisions made about child custody will have long-lasting effects on the lives of parents and children. If you are involved in a dispute over how to allocate custody and placement for your children, the skilled attorneys of Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP can help protect your rights and advocate for your children’s best interests. Contact our Milwaukee, WI divorce lawyers today at 414-271-1440.





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