CHILD CUSTODY AND PLACEMENT IN WISCONSIN
WHAT EVERY DIVORCING PARENT SHOULD KNOW
UNDERSTANDING THE "BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD" STANDARDIn Wisconsin, the phrase, “best interests of the child,” is used to validate the opinion of the person or persons empowered by the court system to redefine your role as a parent during and after your divorce. Initially, it is up to the parents to figure this out, and no one will interfere unless or until you are unable to agree. Divorce Mediation through Divorce PRO Wisconsin is an efficient and cost-effective way for both parents to work together to ensure the health and well-being of their child. Let our experienced pro se divorce advocates make sure that you – and only you – decide your child’s best interests.
How Do Courts Decide Child Custody and Placement?If the parents cannot agree, the Court will decide custody (decision-making authority) and physical placement (the child’s primary residence) after considering the facts of their situation, presumably with the child’s best interests in mind. In doing so, the Court is required to weigh a variety of statutory factors aimed at maximizing each parent’s role in the child’s life moving forward, as follows:
- The wishes of the parents as evidenced by an agreement, a parenting plan, or a proposal.
- The wishes of the child as communicated by the child through a third-party representative, known as a Guardian ad Litem, or other appropriate professional.
- The relationship between the parent and child, the child and a sibling, and/or the child and other persons of significance.
- The participation of each parent in the upbringing of the child to that point.
- The child's ability to adjust to a new home, school, and community.
- The child's age, along with the child's developmental and educational needs.
- Click to review each of the 16 factors outlined in sec. 767.41(5)(am) of the Wisconsin Statutes.
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