If you have any questions about protecting your parental rights, we can help you get reliable answers. For a confidential, no obligation initial consultation with a Wisconsin parental rights lawyer, please call us at (414) 453-0800 or contact us online.
An Overview of Custody Rights in Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, the term “child custody” essentially refers to the concept of parental decision-making authority. A parent that has custody has the “right” to make decisions for their child. Custody may be shared by the parents or it may be awarded primarily to one parent. Shared custody is presumed best in Wisconsin. Here is the key thing to know about child custody rights in Waukesha:
- Mother’s Child Custody Rights: A mother has a right to claim child custody in Wisconsin. If you are a mother in a custody dispute, our Waukesha parental rights attorney can help.
- Father’s Child Custody Rights: A father has an equal right to seek child custody in Wisconsin. If you are a father in a custody dispute, contact our Waukesha parental rights lawyer.
While mothers and fathers have equal parental rights in Wisconsin, it is important to clarify that a man only has parental rights (and parental responsibilities) if he has paternity. Without paternity—either through marriage, voluntary acknowledgment, genetic testing, or a court order—a man does not have parental rights in Wisconsin.
An Overview of Physical Placement Rights in Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, the term “physical placement” is used to describe where the child resides. Both mothers and fathers have a right to seek parental placement. Wisconsin does not automatically presume a child should live with either parent. There are two main categories of physical placement Waukesha:
- Primary Physical Placement: With primary physical placement, the child spends at least 75 percent of their nights with one of the parents. It could even be virtually all nights with that parent.
- Shared Physical Placement: With shared physical placement, both parents have at least 25 percent of nights with their child(ren). For example, a child who spends half of their nights with each parent lives in a shared physical placement arrangement.
What to Know About Parental Rights and Child Support
Parents in Waukesha have a responsibility to support their children. Under Wisconsin law, a parent does not necessarily need to have primary placement to be eligible for child support. Indeed, it is even possible for a parent with less than 50 percent placement of a child to receive child support under the state’s child support calculation. In Wisconsin, child support issues are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Wisconsin Uses the ‘Best Interests of the Child’ Standard
Under Wisconsin law (Wis. Stat. § 767.41), all family law disputes involving kids are resolved under the state’s ‘best interests of the child’ standard. In this way, each parent’s rights are a secondary consideration. If there is a dispute over decision-making authority or physical placement of a child, a Wisconsin court must determine what arrangement is best for the child. Courts can evaluate a wide array of different factors, including:
- The existing relationship that the child has the parent (or lack thereof);
- The age and developmental and emotional needs of the child;
- The wishes of the child (if old enough and mature enough to give input);
- The desires of the parents;
- The ability of the parents to work together cooperatively;
- Any history of substance abuse, domestic violence, or parental neglect; and
- Other factors determined to be relevant to figuring out what is best for the child.
For parents going through any type of family law case in Wisconsin, it is imperative that they keep the best interests of the child standard in mind. You can put yourself in the best position to get your desired outcome by presenting a strong and comprehensive case that you can provide the best home environment for your child.
Karp & Iancu, S.C. Puts an Emphasis on Collaborative Solutions
Family law cases can be emotionally fraught—especially so when young children are involved. At Karp & Iancu, S.C., we understand how important it is for parents to protect their rights. At the same time, our Waukesha parental rights lawyers also know that most people want to try to find a workable solution with their co-parent that limits conflict and preserves relationships.
We always put an emphasis on exploring collaborative solutions in custody cases, visitation cases, and other parental rights cases. Of course, a mutually agreeable settlement is not possible in every parental rights case. Our Waukesha family lawyers are trial-tested. We are ready to take your case wherever it needs to go to protect your parental rights.
How Our Waukesha, WI Parental Rights Lawyer Can Help
Nothing should come between you and your relationship with your children. Whether you are going through a divorce, separation, or conflict with your co-parent, it can be deeply stressful. At Karp & Iancu, S.C., we have helped people solve family law problems in Wisconsin for more than three decades. Among other things, our Waukesha parental rights attorneys are ready to:
- Listen to what you have to say and explain your rights and responsibilities;
- Investigate the issue—gathering evidence and information to protect your parental rights;
- Represent you in any negotiations with your co-parent; and
- Take legal action to help you get the best outcome in your parental rights case.