If you are considering a divorce or separation, one of your main concerns is sure to be child custody. If you are trying to get custody or visitation with a child, it helps to understand the way the state of Wisconsin defines family. Family is legally defined as people who are connected by blood or the law within a couple of generations. It can also be a group of people who have a communal domestic relationship. With the legalization of gay marriage and the ever-changing laws and social rules in our society, the family is something that can be rather hard to define. Often the courts will go on a case by case basis.
It does not matter if a couple is married, in The Badger State. If paternity is known, both parents have custody rights. If paternity has not been established either party can request a paternity test. One parent may not refuse to let the other parent see the child. Unlike other states, it does not matter if there is unpaid child support. Grandparents also have legal visitation rights in the state.
In Wisconsin, both joint and sole child custody are legal options. There are a few things that must be taken into consideration when determining who will get custody of a child. They will look at the child’s age, parental living situation and the child’s preference. The courts will also take the financial stability and mental and physical health of the parent into consideration. They will look at the relationship between the parents, as well as who has been the primary caretaker up until the point of the separation.
Making a Child Care Plan
If you mutually decide on joint custody, you and your soon-to-be ex-partner will fill out a parenting plan worksheet. The worksheet will give you the opportunity to decide what days each parent will take care of the kids; how much will be paid for child support and who will be responsible for things like daycare and transportation.
The state of Wisconsin recognizes two different kinds of custody. If a parent has physical custody it means the child resides with them. If a parent is granted child custody, they may not live with the kid but they will have a say in major decisions. The worksheet is very detailed, and if you fill it out completely, the terms of the child-care arrangements should leave little room for confusion. If you and your ex cannot come to an agreement, there will be a trial and the courts will make a custody arrangement.
Restrictions on Childcare Plans
If one parent wants to move more than 150 miles away from where they were when the agreement was made, they must notify their co-parent with a certified letter. A co-parent can object to the move and if they do, the child may not move until the court rules on the objection.
What to Look for in an Attorney
Even if a divorce is amicable, you still need the assistance of a family lawyer. A good attorney will know how to write a solid paternity agreement. Even if you have been divorced before, you still don’t have as much experience as a child custody attorney. They will understand all the problems that can come up in a split and they know what the courts look for when deciding paternity cases.
Divorce is messy, but with the right help, it can be the start of a whole new life.