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Wisconsin Divorce Custody

According to WI divorce custody laws; there are two kinds of custody types. One is legal custody and the other is physical placement. All custody cases are however, based on the same premise that the best interests of the child must be protected at all costs. The following factors are considered while awarding custody in the state of Wisconsin:
  • In almost all cases, courts attempt to award joint legal custody of the child, so that both the parents are authorized to take legal decisions on matters such as: education, medical issues, schooling etc. Sole legal custody is awarded if a parent can prove in the court that the presence of the other parent is detrimental to the child. If that parent has been involved in child abuse or child abuse or physical violence etc then such a parent may not be given legal custody at all. Visitation rights may also be limited in such cases and may be supervised.

  • If both the parents are willing to cooperate with each other in terms of child care, then joint legal custody is preferred. In such cases, according to divorce child custody laws in Wisconsin, a sound parenting plan is to be formulated by both of them which would detail on how they plan to carry out legal decision making for the child. Such a plan must also ensure that all future disputes and confusions are sorted out and that it is a “court-ordered plan”.

  • Whether the parents get the joint legal custody or sole, both have equal rights of access to the child’s records, documents and papers. The records may pertain to schooling, medical and dental health of the child.

  • With regards to physical custody of the child, WI divorce custody laws specify that the true wishes and basic needs of the child must be determined. Then these wishes are assessed with the priorities f the parents and the parent who simply fits the bill and can optimally meet the needs of the child, is awarded physical placement of the child.

  • Physical and mental healths of the parents are considered as most important while awarding physical custody. The parent, who is having any mental ailment or physical problem, may not get the custody of the child due to his/her incapability of raising the child.

  • If the parents have engaged in domestic violence or physical abuse then the custody issue gets more complicated. The question then arises, if the child has been the witness of the victim. In either case, WI child custody laws specify that an abusive parent does not get the custody of the child and may also have only limited visitation rights, unless otherwise proven in the court that is suits the best interests of the child to let him/her interact with that parent.

  • Courts also try to determine if a parent ahs been involved in drug abuse, substance abuse etc and thus is incapable of raising the child. Custody is not awarded to such a parent.

  • According to a recent modification in Placement Law in Family Statutes of Wisconsin 767.24(4) (a)2, more time needs to be allotted to the child by the parents to maximize his/her benefit from both the parents. This is the case when both the parents are suitable for the best interests of the child. Geographical proximity of the parents is an important factor that determines this decision.

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