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Bucher Law Group, LLC

Determining Child Custody in Wisconsin

Posted on in Divorce/Family Law

Waukesha, WI Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is often extremely contentious. When children become involved in the scope of topics parents fight about, it is unfair to the child. In some divorces, child custody is a very heated matter that can be extremely difficult to reach an agreement regarding legal custody, physical custody, and a parenting plan. In some cases, an attorney is appointed to serve as a guardian ad litem, which is a third-party representative who will advocate for the child’s best interests. Many states differ on how they handle child custody, but Wisconsin’s laws are fairly straightforward.

Divorce Mediation Requirement

Wisconsin courts suggest a child custody agreement is best created when it is negotiated by both of the child’s parents. For various reasons, sometimes this is not possible, which is why Wisconsin requires divorcing parents to attend at least one session of mediation in an attempt to get them to work together for the sake of their child. If the mediator determines a decision will most likely not be reached in mediation, they can then ask the court to review the case and make a determination about child custody.

What is a Guardian Ad Litem?

If custody of a child is contested, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem. This is an individual who will represent the child, similar to an attorney, but who will advocate for them when it comes to making decisions about legal custody, physical placement, and child support.

The guardian ad litem will conduct an investigation and compile a report about their recommendation when it comes to custody. They will consider all related factors, including:

  • The wishes of the child, within reason;
  • The suitability of each parent’s home;
  • How each parent performs their parental duties;
  • Whether either spouse has ever engaged in domestic violence;
  • The wishes of each parent;
  • The ability of each parent to foster and encourage a relationship between the other parent and the child; and
  • Any other relevant factors.

A Waukesha, WI Divorce Attorney Can Help

While divorce is a separation of you from your spouse, it affects the entire family, especially your children. Divorces can be stressful enough for children, but when you put them in the middle of custody arguments, you can cause more damage than you realize. At the Bucher Law Group, we understand how important it is that you make the right decisions about your child’s custody. Our skilled Waukesha County divorce lawyers will help you come to an agreement with your child’s other parent, hopefully through the use of mediation or collaboration. Call our office today at 262-303-4916 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/767/V/401

https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/best_interest.pdf

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