Child Custody And Placement Attorneys In Waukesha, Wisconsin
When you’re going through a divorce, establishing child custody and physical placement agreements is needed to determine each party’s rights and responsibilities. However, when both parents are unable to agree on a mutual legal custody and/or placement arrangement, they may turn to the family court system to help resolve these emotional issues.
If you’re contemplating divorce or have just been served with divorce papers, you are probably trying to understand how child custody and placement arrangements will be decided. Consult with an experienced Wisconsin family law attorney. At D'Angelo & Grabow, LLP, we have the diligence and resources to guide parents through the complex procedures involved in establishing and modifying child custody and placement agreements.
As your legal counsel, we will evaluate every circumstance of your unique situation and help you understand your rights throughout the process. In addition, our attorneys will advocate for your family’s best interests and help create an agreement that fits your needs. D'Angelo & Grabow, LLP proudly serves clients across Waukesha and the surrounding areas throughout southeastern Wisconsin, including Milwaukee, Pewaukee and Lake County.
Understanding Custody And Placement In Wisconsin
In a divorce or legal separation with minor children involved, parents must work toward creating a feasible legal custody and physical placement agreement to determine the duties, responsibilities, and rights of each parent. In Wisconsin, child custody determines the parent with the legal decision-making authority for the child. Placement determines more specifically where the child will physically live.
Under Wisconsin law, a parent with legal custody will have the right and responsibility to make major decisions for the child, including non-emergency medical care, the choice to get married or join the military before the age of 18, where the child will go to school or the child’s religious upbringing. Depending on the circumstances, custody may be awarded to one parent (sole custody) or both parents (joint custody). The law presumes joint custody to be in the child’s best interest which presumption can be overcome in some circumstances.
Physical placement determines where the child will live and the period of time the child will spend with either parent. Depending on the specific circumstances, physical placement may be primary with one parent or shared between both parents. The court will determine the placement schedule that is in the best interest of the child based on a number of factors.
Skilled Legal Counsel
Establishing A Child Custody Arrangement
In Wisconsin, a child custody and physical placement arrangement may be established in any of the following ways:
Uncontested Custody Arrangement
In an uncontested custody agreement, both parties mutually agree on acceptable terms and provisions of legal custody and physical placement. All agreed-upon custody terms will be accurately documented and presented to the family court to be officially approved.
Generally, an uncontested custody and placement agreement remains the fastest, least expensive, and most hassle-free option to establish custody and placement. The parents in this situation will have more control over the final agreement. A knowledgeable lawyer can advocate for your best interests and keep the conversation productive.
Contested Custody Arrangement
In a contested custody arrangement when the parties are unable to agree on one or more crucial custody or placement terms, the court will intervene, assist in resolving custody issues, and determine custody and placement based on the child’s best interest.
If you’re involved in a contested legal custody and/or physical placement battle, an experienced family law attorney, such as those at D'Angelo & Grabow, LLP can help present your case in court and improve your prospects of achieving a favorable custody and placement judgment.
Factors Considered In Determining Custody And Placement
In a contested custody battle, the family court will determine child custody and placement based on the child’s best interest and welfare. Here are some of the factors that the court may consider to determine custody:
- The wishes of each parent.
- The reasonable wishes of the child.
- The cooperation and communication between the parents.
- Whether one parent unreasonably refuses to cooperate or communicate with the other parent.
- Whether a parent can support a positive relationship with the other parent.
- The relationship of the child with any other siblings.
- The relationship between the child and each parent.
- The amount and quality of time each parent has had with the child in the past.
- Any issues related to drug, alcohol or other abuse.
- Any proposed adjustments to a new home, community, religion or school.
- The age and developmental needs of the child.
- The physical and mental health of all parties involved.
- Any history of domestic violence, inter-spousal battery, child abuse or neglect.
- Any relevant professional reports or criminal record.
- Any other factors deemed relevant by the court.
A Wisconsin child custody and placement attorney can evaluate all of the facts of your situation and represent you diligently in your child custody case.
Modifying An Existing Child Custody Arrangement
Either parent in Wisconsin is entitled to file a petition to change an existing custody and placement arrangement. However, the requesting parent must show that:
- The proposed changes are in the best interest of the child.
- There has been a substantial change in circumstances since the entry of the last court order affecting legal custody and/or physical placement.
Examples Of Changes In Circumstances
Some major life events that may necessitate seeking adjustments to child custody and placement agreement could include:
- Changes in either parent’s work schedule
- Child abuse or neglect by either parent
- Substance abuse
- Violating or ignoring custody and placement provisions
- Changes in the parent’s marital status
- Medical condition
An experienced lawyer can explore your options to seek child custody and placement modification and guide you through the court system if necessary.
Work With Reliable Family Law Attorneys
Determining legal decision-making authority and physical placement in a Wisconsin divorce, legal separation or paternity action involves several complex steps. The child’s parents must decide on physical placement, establish a workable parenting plan, and clarify the responsibilities and rights of either party. Consulting with a family law attorney is imperative for detailed guidance.
At D'Angelo & Grabow, LLP, we’re committed to offering trusted legal counsel and reliable advocacy to clients in child custody and placement-related matters. Whether you’re trying to establish custody and placement arrangement or want to change the terms of the existing custody order, our attorney can walk you and your family through the legal procedures involved.
If you need guidance when creating or modifying a child custody and placement agreement, contact us at 262-383-2700 to schedule a simple consultation. Our firm proudly serves clients across Waukesha, Milwaukee, Pewaukee, Washington, Sussex County and southeastern Wisconsin.