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How Is Physical Placement of Children Determined During Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Milwaukee divorce attorney for physical placement of childrenBy Attorney Max Stephenson

When parents get divorced, they will need to determine where their children will primarily live and the amount of time they will spend with each parent. In Wisconsin, this is known as physical placement. Parents may be able to reach an agreement in these matters as part of their divorce settlement, or these and other child custody issues may need to be decided by the court. 

Determining Physical Placement

If a child’s parents are unable to reach an agreement regarding their child’s physical placement, a judge will need to make decisions about how these matters should be handled. Wis. Stat. § 767.41 provides a number of different factors that a judge should consider to determine what is in the child’s best interests, including:

  • The wishes of the child’s parents
  • The wishes of the child
  • The interaction of the child with his/her parents, siblings, and any other individuals living both in and outside of the home
  • Whether one parent can support the other parent’s relationship with the child and vice versa
  • The physical and mental health of the parents and child
  • The amount and quality of time each parent has spent with the child prior to the divorce
  • How the child will adjust to a new home, school, and community environment
  • The need for a stable environment
  • The child’s physical and educational needs
  • The accessibility of day care services (if applicable)
  • The parents’ willingness to cooperate and communicate with each other
  • Whether there is evidence that either parent or a person in either household has committed domestic abuse against the child, a spouse, or other family members
  • Any additional factors not mentioned within the statute that may affect the child’s well-being

After weighing these factors, the court will determine a physical placement arrangement. In some cases, one parent may be awarded primary physical placement, and the other will be granted visitation rights. In other cases, parents may share physical placement, with the child spending equal or near-equal amounts of time with each parent.

In some cases, if either parent is determined to be unfit to provide care for a child, or if there is evidence that the child would be at risk of harm when in the care of one parent, restrictions may be placed on physical placement. To ensure children’s safety, supervision may be required during a parent’s visitation time, or visitation may be denied altogether.

Contact a Milwaukee, Wisconsin Child Custody Attorney Today

If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are struggling to resolve disputes over child custody or physical placement, contact a Milwaukee divorce lawyer from Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP. We have helped hundreds of divorcing couples address these matters and come to fair and reasonable decisions that protect children’s best interests. Call our office at 414-271-1440.



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