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Waukesha County family law firmMilwaukee, WI child custody attorney for physical placement enforcementBy Attorney Max Stephenson and Paralegal Courtney Hess

When a couple with children chooses to get a divorce in Wisconsin, one of the most important issues that must be resolved is the children’s custody and physical placement. Physical placement decisions are often complicated and emotionally charged, and they require the consideration of many different factors, including the children’s needs and best interests, the wishes of the children and parents, and the effects on relationships between parents and children.

Extensive discussions or a contested battle in court are sometimes needed to reach a decision on these matters, and once a child custody order has been issued, it can be incredibly frustrating and distressing when your former spouse fails to follow its terms. You should know that if you find yourself in such a situation, you can take legal action to enforce the order and ensure that you have the time with your children to which you are entitled.


Waukesha County family law firmMilwaukee, WI divorce attorney for child custody modificationBy Attorney Max Stephenson and Family Law Paralegal Courtney Hess

When you are getting a divorce, arriving at an agreement on the legal custody and physical placement of your children can be a challenging process as you try to prioritize your children’s best interests while balancing the needs of both parents. It is not uncommon for this process to continue even after the issuance of your child custody order, as the needs of everyone involved may change in the years following your divorce. If you find that the original order is no longer feasible or desirable, it may be time to pursue a modification.

When Can Custody and/or Placement Be Legally Modified?

In most cases, a Wisconsin child custody/placement order cannot be modified for the first two years after it is issued. However, you may be able to make the case for an early modification if you can demonstrate that circumstances have changed such that the current order is dangerous or harmful to your children. This could be the case if information comes to light regarding the other parent’s abusive behavior, or the behavior of a new romantic partner introduced to the children. The court may also consider a modification to physical placement within two years if it does not substantially change the time that either parent spends with the children.


Milwaukee divorce attorney for holiday child custodyBy Attorney Max Stephenson

Sharing physical custody of your children after a divorce can be a challenge throughout the year, but it is often especially difficult during the winter holidays. This year may be more difficult than ever as you balance your desire to spend time with family with the need to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this year and others, it is important that you and your children’s other parent have a plan to co-parent effectively during the holiday season.

Suggestions for Holiday Co-Parenting

If you consider the following suggestions, you may be able to take some stress out of co-parenting both during this holiday season and in years to come:


Milwaukee, WI physical placement attorneyBy Attorney Max Stephenson

For parents and children alike, one of the hardest parts of a divorce is adjusting to a life split between two households. In most cases, neither parent is able to spend the time with their kids that they did before the divorce. This can be extremely difficult on an emotional level, and it can also involve logistical challenges related to arranging schedules and transportation. 

You may take some solace in the fact that Wisconsin law recognizes the importance of a child’s relationship with both parents, and courts will usually make an effort to grant both parents meaningful time with their children. That said, it is still important that you understand the factors the court will consider in decisions regarding physical placement so that you can make a strong case for an arrangement that meets your family’s needs.


Waukesha County family law firmMilwaukee, WI divorce attorney for parental relocationBy Attorney Max Stephenson and Family Law Paralegal Courtney Hess

It may seem odd that the decision to move to a new location could belong to anyone other than yourself, but the fact is that after a divorce involving minor children, this is often the case. As frustrating as this may be, your relocation can affect not only your own life, but also your children’s other parent, and perhaps most importantly, your children. This does not mean that you can never move after your divorce, but it does mean that you will sometimes require legal approval to do so.

When Does Relocation Require Court Permission in Wisconsin?

Moving is a necessary part of almost any divorce, since at least one partner will have to find a new home after the separation. In Wisconsin, moves to a location within 100 miles of the other parent’s residence typically require no special approval. However, if you are planning to move 100 miles or more, you will need to follow the necessary procedures, which include:


Waukesha County family law firmMilwaukee child custody lawyer for virtual visitationBy Attorney Max Stephenson and Paralegal Courtney Hess

If you are a divorced or single parent, you likely know the importance of outlining when and where your child will physically reside in your parenting agreement. Virtual visitation via electronic communication is perhaps a lesser-known component of a parenting agreement, but it can be a great option for children and parents for whom physical visitation is not always possible.

When Is Virtual Visitation a Good Idea?

Virtual visitation can occur via phone, video chat, text, email, or any other electronic means, and it can be useful in a variety of situations to allow children to regularly communicate and maintain relationships with their parents. Some examples of when you might consider virtual visitation include:


Milwaukee, WI divorce attorney

By Attorney Max Stephenson

Although studies show that approximately 40 to 50 percent of all U.S. marriages end in divorce, 70 percent of those spouses who get a divorce end up remarrying later in life. A second marriage can bring much happiness and a new lease on life for those people whose first unions did not work out. However, to avoid rushing into a second marriage shortly after a divorce, some states have a mandatory waiting period. Be sure to brush up on your state’s guidelines and contact an experienced divorce attorney before considering remarriage.


Milwaukee, WI family law attorney for divorce during COVID-19By Attorney Max Stephenson

The coronavirus has had a staggering effect on the United States’ business infrastructure, the unemployment rate, and the economy as a whole, but it has also had a more personal impact, affecting our family dynamics and how we go about our daily lives. Currently, many states and cities are attempting to reopen the economy and work towards introducing a new normal. However, for those who are in the midst of a divorce or child custody case, that new normal will contain a variety of additional issues that will need to be addressed.

Whether you need to address trial postponements or child custody orders, you may be struggling with uncertainty about how your case should be handled. To ensure that these matters are addressed properly, you should work with a family law attorney who can help you determine the best steps to take to achieve success in your case. 


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:


Milwaukee, WI divorce attorney for child custodyBy Attorney Max Stephenson

During your divorce, you and your spouse will need to resolve issues regarding the custody of your children. In Wisconsin, child custody may be granted solely to one parent, giving them the responsibility to make decisions about how the child will be raised. However, in most cases, the court will decide that the parents should have joint or shared custody, and divorced or separated parents will work together to make decisions for their children. Joint custody is usually appropriate if both parents are able to perform parental duties, are able to work together, and have no current conditions or conflicts that would affect the children or their environment.

In addition to child custody, a divorce agreement will address the physical placement of children, which refers to the time the child will spend with each parent. Even if one parent is granted sole custody, the other parent may be allocated a reasonable amount of physical placement.

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