Hartford, WI Child Custody Lawyers

Hartford WI Child Custody Attorneys

When your rights as a parent are being challenged, we will provide the passionate and experienced legal representation you need.

Just because a person’s marriage ends, does not mean that he or she is now relieved of parental responsibilities or rights. This means that parents who are getting divorced or are legally separating will need to grapple with complicated issues, such as child support and custody arrangements. Fortunately, parents are able, and encouraged, to come up with their own time sharing schedules and then bring them to the court for approval. While this can help save the parties a significant amount of time and stress, it is not always possible, in which case, a judge will be required to step in and create a parenting plan on their behalf. In either case, it is crucial for parents to be represented by an experienced Hartford, WI child custody attorney who can ensure that their interests, and the interests of their children, are represented.

Legal Custody

In Wisconsin, courts divide custody into two categories – legal custody and physical placement. The former refers to the right to make major decisions on a child’s behalf, including decisions regarding non-emergency health care, religion, education, joining the military, or obtaining a driver’s license. Legal custody is either joint, which means that both parents will have equal decision making responsibilities and so must consult each other, or sole, which means that one parent will be primarily responsible for resolving these issues. In most cases, joint legal custody is presumed, unless the parties agree otherwise or there is a history of domestic violence in the relationship.

Physical Placement

Physical placement, on the other hand, refers to the time that a child is able to spend with each parent. During physical placement, each parent has the right to make routine daily decisions about the child’s care, which includes decisions about bedtimes, extracurricular activities, diet, study time, discipline, and social activities. However, any routine daily decisions must be consistent with major decisions regarding education, religion, and health.

When determining custody, courts require the creation of a placement schedule, each of which varies depending on the specific circumstances of a case. For instance, one placement schedule could allow a child to spend only a brief period of time with one parent, while another could award equal time to both parties. These schedules also take vacations and holidays into account. Although courts often presume that equal parenting time is in a child’s best interests, the law does not require it, but instead provides that children should have a schedule that:

Allows them to have meaningful and regularly occurring periods of placement; and Maximizes the time that they have with each parent.

Ultimately, when coming up with a physical placement schedule, courts are guided by the best interests of the child, which requires an analysis of a series of factors, including:

  • The geographical distance between each parent’s residence;
  • Each party’s household accommodations;
  • Each parent’s availability to provide for the care of the child;
  • Both parties’ wishes;
  • Other family relationships;
  • The parties’ ability to communicate and cooperate with each other;
  • The needs and wishes of the child;
  • The availability of child care; and
  • Whether either party is interfering with the other’s relationship with the child.

A court will only order equal placement if these factors indicate that doing so would be in the child’s best interests.

Call Today for Legal Assistance

Please call 414-727-5150 or send us an online message to set up a free case evaluation with one of the dedicated Hartford, WI child custody lawyers at MacGillis Wiemer, LLC today.