Custody and placement are determined by the agreement of parents or by court order. Our Appleton Child Custody Attorneys Can Help You Make The Best Decisions.
The Child Custody Determinations
Your Child Custody Attorney In Appleton can help you understand the current laws of the state, and how they relate specifically to your case. We can help with Child Custody Evaluations and Child Custody Mediations. We also provide all types of Family Law Services in Appleton including divorce services.
The statues of Wisconsin assume that children need both parents in their lives. If one parent is a potentially bad influence to the children, their custody may be limited or denied. Some determinants maybe that one party is involved with alcohol or drugs, shows evidence or abuse, the willingness to cooperate with the other party, the living situation, and other factors the court deems relevant. Since the children are affected by a divorce, the courts will require a parenting plan to be filed when the 2 parties end the marriage.
What Is A Parenting Plan?
A parenting plan helps to address certain issues, like how the children will share their time with each parent, the caregiver among other living arrangements. Other areas will address the religious affiliations, childcare and other expenses that will not have been covered in the support payments. The parenting plan specifically states what you seek in the form of custody and placement from the court. It will detail your plans as to where you live or plan to live, your work schedule, where the child will go to school, the child care options you have, and how the child will communicate with the other parent. The parenting plan is required filed at the court 60 days after mediation-if not successful, or if the court has waived mediation within 60 days.
Types of Custody That a Child Custody Attorney In Appleton Can Help With
There are two types of custody: sole and joint. The custody is then further categorized as legal or physical. Legal custody addresses the responsibility of each parent in making various decisions about a child such as where the child will live, school, which medical care to receive among others. Physical custody on the other hand addresses where the child or children will live and with whom. The various types of custody arrangements in a Wisconsin divorce, then can fall into either of the categories below. It is important to know what each of these custody arrangements mean. There is The Legal sole custody or The Legal joint custody VS The Physical sole custody or The Physical joint custody.
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Joint legal custody
In this custody plan, the two parents have the responsibility to decide on various legal aspects in relation to a child. One parent cannot decide without first consulting the other parent otherwise will be in contempt of court. For example, both parents must agree on where the child or children will go to school.
Sole legal custody
In this arrangement, one parent is responsible for making decisions about the child or children’s life. The sole custodial parent makes all the major decisions without the input of the non-custodial parent.
Joint physical custody
In a joint physical custody arrangement, both parents have unlimited access to the child or children. This kind of custody holds that the children are more important that the parent’s differences. However, this kind of custody can have a negative impact on the children since the children will find themselves in the middle of their parents’ problems.
Sole physical custody
In this arrangement, the custodial parent is the principal guardian to the child or children. The non-custodial parent is granted visitation rights so as to get the opportunity to spend time with his/her child or children.
Legal custody refers to the major decision-making authority for a minor child, including but not limited to decisions regarding consent to marry, enter military service, obtain a driver's license, authorization for non-emergency healthcare and choice of school and religion. Wisconsin law presumes that it is in the best interest of the minor child that the parents be granted joint legal custody. Joint legal custody means that neither parent's legal custody rights are superior, except as ordered by the court or agreed to by the parents. A court may find that awarding joint legal custody would be harmful to the minor child and order sole legal custody to one parent.
Physical placement refers to the right to have a minor child physically placed with a parent. It gives that parent the right and responsibility to make, during that placement, routine daily decisions regarding the child's care. One parent may be awarded physical placement with the other parent having periods of physical placement (visitation), or the parents may be awarded shared physical placement.
Child Custody Attorney In Appleton, WI
A judge will not grant custody to a parent simply because they are financially more capable- the parent must be able to prove why the child would benefit if they are granted sole custody. Placement determines the right to have the child physically placed with that party. They make decisions regarding the daily care of the child consistent with the custody designation of the child. The Placement order designates where and with whom the child spends time. Normally, a parenting schedule is set that allows for regular recurring, meaningful periods of placement with each parent.
What is Visitation in Child Custody?
Child visitation concerns the rights of non-custodial parents to spend time with their child. Visitation is permission granted by the court to a noncustodial parent to visit his or her child or children. Although they may vary a Standard visitation plan might be every other weekend From 6 pm on Friday to 6 pm on Sunday. Parents are expected to come up with a “reasonable visitation” schedule. If they cannot a judge may impose a “fixed visitation” schedule.
Can The Child Decide Who To Live With?
Actually No. The child must be emancipated to decide on their own where they wish to live. This usually occurs when they turn 18 years of age or graduate from high school. The desires of the child are considered at any age, but they are communicated to the court through the child’s Guardian ad Litem. They will make a recommendation to the court on what they believe is the child’s best interest. It may be consistent with the child’s wishes or it may not.
How Does The Court Decide Child Custody?
Most courts across the country use what is known as the “best interests of the child” standard, which allows a judge to consider everything and anything that may impact the child in a custody dispute. Major factors include the home environments of each parent, the role each has played in the life of the child leading into the hearing, the willingness of each parent to foster a positive relationship between the child and the other parent, and the ability of each parent to provide for the physical, emotional, and educational needs of the child moving forward. All the factors will be evaluated to determine what’s best for the children.
What If the Parents cannot reach an agreement?
If the parents do not agree on custody and placement the family court commissioner will most likely order the parties to mediation. He may issue temporary orders. If the mediation is not successful, the court will appoint a Guardian Ad Litem to represent the best interest of the child. The court could also order a custody study or further evaluations be performed for the courts review before making a decision.
What Is A Guardian ad Litem?
The Guardian ad Litem is typically a licensed attorney in the State of Wisconsin. They may be appointed by the family court commissioner or judge. In some instances, the county will have contracts with specific attorneys or there may be a list of attorneys who accept these appointments. It is their role to represent the best interests of the child. They may conduct interviews, hire experts, comment on proposed parenting plans, and participate in court proceedings. The judge usually decides who pays for the Guardian ad Litem. Requirements may vary from county to county, but in general each parent is responsible for one half of their fees and costs. If the parents cannot agree on custody or placement the court must appoint a Guardian ad Litem.
Child Custody and Placement issues are among the most emotional and contested in typical divorce case. For these reasons you will definitely want an experienced professional for your case. Your Child Custody Attorney In Appleton can answer more questions like these, and many others that you may have about, Family Law, Child Custody and Placement, Child Custody Evaluations, Child Custody Mediations, Child Support and Maintenance/ Alimony, or Divorce Services and Separation. We provide all types of Family Law Legal services in Appleton.
The information on this website is not, nor intended to be, legal advice. You should always consult with an attorney in regards to specific legal advice for your own individual situation.
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