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Helpful Articles: Parenting

Helpful articles about parenting and divorce; including custody, child support, and more.

July 25th, 2016

2 Year Prohibition On Modifying Custody in Wisconsin

There seems to be a lot of confusion lately over the statutory provision in Wisconsin that bars a litigant from coming back into court to litigate custody and placement, within two years from the date of their final judgment or orders. You can only petition or file a motion to modify within the two years,…
July 21st, 2016

Joint Decision Making

We field a lot of questions with persons who have been divorced who don't seem to have a full understanding of what joint custody of minor children means. They wind up making a decision about the child, without consulting or informing the other parent, and once their ex spouse learns of the decision, they wind…
May 10th, 2016

Unmarried Parents Of An Infant

I receive many inquiries each day pertaining to the rights of a child born out of wedlock. Usually, the couple are fighting over the baby and the question becomes who has legal custody of the child? The answer lies at sec. 767.82 of the Wisconsin Statutes, (2m) and reads as follows; "CUSTODY PENDING COURT ORDER.…
May 2nd, 2016

Can An Adult Child Sue Or Go After Their Parents For Neglect In Medical Care?

In an interesting story out of Idaho, a 20 year old woman with a serious life long heart defect, blames her parents for failing to get her the proper medical care that could have medically corrected the problem. Her parents did not trust modern medicine and now she wants her parents to face justice. She…
April 11th, 2016

What Significance Is The New Spouse’s Income To Support Obligations?

A frequently asked question at some of the lawyer web sites, such as Avvo and, is can a new spouse's income be considered for purposes of child support or maintenance payments? The answer under Wisconsin law, is no. A new spouse is not obligated to pay support for children that are not theirs, nor…
April 8th, 2016

A Big Win For Grandparents Throughout Wisconsin!

Our Wisconsin Supreme Court today issued a landmark decision supporting grandparents rights in our state. In a near unanimous decision, the Court concluded that section 767.43(1) of the Wisconsin Statutes, allows grandparents, great-grandparents and step-parents to seek visitation rights, without having to establish a parent like relationship. The case is in re the Marriage of…
March 28th, 2016

What Does “Reasonable Times, Reasonable Notice” Visitation Mean?

Every once in awhile we see "traditional placement" arrangements. This means that one parent has "primary placement" of the children, and the other parent has visitation rights. Many times, they are afforded "reasonable times, reasonable notice" visitation. Primary placement is defined as one parent having the children at least 75% of the time, counted as…
March 16th, 2016

What is a Vocational Examination?

Many times in divorce cases, we recommend to our clients that they undergo a vocational examination, or the opposing counsel, requests that the party submit to an independent vocational examination. What is a vocational examination and what purpose does it serve? A vocational examination is a process where a person trained and experienced in employment…
February 22nd, 2016

Hold Open Child Support?

The other day on one of the "ask lawyer" internet web sites, someone posted a question of whether you could waive or hold open child support. The answer to the former is no and the answer to the latter is yes. You cannot waive child support pursuant to a martial settlement agreement, as it is…
December 8th, 2015

What Are “Variable Costs?”

I deal with a number of disputes over "variable costs." It seems that a number of litigants do not understand what variable expenses are, when they come into play and how each party is to be held responsible for such costs. If there is a traditional placement arrangement of children, where one parent has primary…
August 25th, 2015

Will the court let me move out of Wisconsin with the children?

In Wisconsin, 767.481 stats., spells out the specific rules and requirements for a parent's request to move either out of state, or more than 150 miles from the other parent within the state. There is some level of legal controversy over whether the so called "removal statute" applies in divorce cases and paternity cases. The…
August 20th, 2015

School Choice – Who Makes It?

It is August and we are inching towards the school year starting for children. I receive numerous questions from clients and others this time of year, about who gets to decide where children will attend school. It is a frequent battle ground for divorced parents where they disagree on which school their children should attend.…
June 23rd, 2015

Does a Child Decide Where They Want to Live in Wisconsin?

This is a frequently asked question and one that I don't think is well understood by most. The general answer is "a child cannot ever decide." Let's explore that however, both in terms of the legal issues as well as the practical aspects of the matter. Under Wisconsin Statue sec. 767.41 (5) (am) 2, factors…
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