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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.

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Delafield, WI child custody lawyerIf you are getting divorced, you know the confusion and uncertainty it can bring. One of the most common questions people getting a divorce ask is, “What happens to my children?” While this is a legitimate and important question, there is no simple answer. Just because you are getting a divorce from your spouse does not mean that your--or their--relationship with your children ends. You may not be married forever, but you will be a parent for life. You and your spouse may be in agreement about the legal and physical custody of your children, or you might have different ideas of what should happen.

Resolving Custody Issues Through Mediation

Wisconsin courts strongly believe that parents should try their best to settle any custody disagreements on their own. When parents make their own decisions about custody, they are more likely to stick to their decisions. If parents are not able to come to an agreement, Wisconsin courts may require them to attend at least one session of mediation to help them resolve any outstanding issues. If the spouses are unable to reach an agreement through mediation, then the parents will need to file a parenting plan with the court within 60 days. 

Elements of Wisconsin Parenting Plans

In Wisconsin, the person who is petitioning for sole or joint custody of the child must file a parenting plan with the court. If the other parent does not also file a parenting plan within 60 days, they waive their right to object to the parenting plan. A parenting plan filed with the court should contain the following elements:

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