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Child Custody in Wisconsin

Regardless of whether you're married, divorced, separated or have never married, parenting is a lifelong job. If you and your child's other parent are not together, you'll have to reach certain child custody and child support decisions. Each of you should be represented by a Wisconsin child custody attorney. Your lawyers can help you reach an agreement that works for both parents and your children.

Wisconsin Child Custody Basics

Custody: You and your child's other parent will have to decide which parent has legal custody, or the right to make major decisions on the child's behalf. One parent may have sole legal custody, meaning that parent has sole decisionmaking authority, or the parents may share joint legal custody, meaning they have equal authority.

Physical Placement: Some states use the terms physical custody and visitation when discussing how a child's time is split between two parents. In Wisconsin, this is called physical placement. According to the State Bar of Wisconsin, "During physical placement, you have the right to make routine daily decisions about your children’s care. Most court orders provide a placement schedule of the times the children are to be with each parent. Placement schedules can vary from brief time with one parent and the remainder with the other to the same amount of time with each parent. Placement schedules also provide for placement on holidays and vacations."

Reaching Custody & Placement Decisions: You and your child's other parent should attempt to reach child custody and placement decisions with the help of your Wisconsin child custody lawyers. Once you've created a written agreement, you and your lawyers will present it to the appropriate Wisconsin Circuit Court for approval. If you're unable to reach an agreement, the court will make a custody and placement ruling on your behalf.

Child Support: Both parents are expected to contribute to the financial costs associated with raising a child. With the help of your Wisconsin child custody attorneys, you and your child's other parent will have to reach a child support agreement that must also be approved by the court. In setting child support, the court typically looks at each parent's income, how much time the child spends with each parent and how many children, if any, each parent is supporting.

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Wisconsin Child Custody Lawyer

Take some time to talk to an attorney before deciding whether to hire him or her. You may have to live with your child custody arrangement for years, and your attorney plays a serious role in its creation.

Schedule an initial consultation, or preliminary meeting, with the lawyer to get to know him or her better. Tell the lawyer about your situation and ask the attorney some questions that help you make a hiring decision. Typical questions might include:

  • How long have you been a practicing attorney?
  • Do you only practice family law or do you do other types of legal work, too?
  • Can you tell me more about your background and experience?
  • Do you know the attorney who's representing my child's other parent? What can you tell me about that lawyer?
  • What's your philosophy or style when representing parents in custody cases?
  • Are you the only attorney in your firm who will be working on my matter or will others be involved? Can I meet them?
  • How much do you charge for your services?

Find & Hire a Wisconsin Child Custody Attorney

If you're ready to hire a Wisconsin child custody lawyer but need help locating one, you've come to the right website. Whether you live in Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay or elsewhere in the state, offers a free service that can match you with Wisconsin family law attorneys in your area.

Call us at 877-913-7222 or complete the form on this page to get started. After you answer a few easy questions, we'll quickly connect you with an attorney in your area.