We Can Help With Child Custody And Parenting Time Matters
Child custody issues often highlight all that is difficult about divorce and family law. In a divorce, two people agree, to varying degrees, that they no longer wish to be married. If they have children, they then have to reach an agreement regarding how they will raise their children. This can be done one of several ways. At Thelen & Associates, LLC, we can help you understand your options and decide which path is best for you in your situation.
Child Custody And Placement In Wisconsin
There are two important elements of your custody agreement. The first is child custody. This is sometimes referred to as legal custody or decision-making authority. This is the right and responsibility to make important decisions for your children regarding their education, religion, health care, and when they may obtain a driver’s license, etc. This authority may be given solely to one parent, but in most cases, it is a joint authority given to both parents.
The other element is what is known in Wisconsin as placement. This is sometimes called physical custody. This is where the child will spend their time and sleep at night. Placement schedules can vary widely; if the parents can develop a schedule that is in their child’s best interest, they may submit it to the court. If this is possible, it will likely produce a placement schedule that will work best for your family.
Mediation May Be Required
If the parents cannot agree, mediation will become mandatory and will be used to work out a solution. We can advise you during this process. However, during mediation, you will negotiate directly with your former spouse and work to reach a viable agreement.
If you cannot reach a mediated placement schedule, a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) will be appointed by the court and will examine all aspects of your family’s situation. The GAL will provide the court with a report that it will use to create a placement schedule. The judge will then impose a plan based on the child’s best interests.
A Schedule That Works For Your Children
Developing a workable parenting time schedule and agreeing on placement can be complex. If there is no agreement, then the details of the schedule will be influenced by a number of factors. In some cases, the preference of an older child is taken into consideration by the courts.
Parenting schedules are unique to each family. The parenting time schedule of a parent who works rotating shifts or travels frequently will look very different from that of a parent who works 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and rarely travels. Parenting time schedules and placement that works for toddlers may not work well for teens.
Our team is committed to helping you develop a plan that works with your life and your family. Cooperation may be difficult, but a careful parenting time schedule can help create the routine and predictability that can help children adjust and minimize conflict in the relationship.