A frequently asked child custody question in divorce cases is whether or not Wisconsin has a law that requires each child to have their own bedroom? what about their own bed? Can children sleep together? Is there an age cutoff? What if the children are sleeping on the couch? bunk beds? sleeping bags? on the floor? These are all legitimate questions and concerns for children.
The general answer to the question posed is that no, Wisconsin does not have any law regulating how many bedrooms or beds a parent needs to have in order to have overnight placement of their children when going through a divorce or after they are divorced. Common sense prevails. There is no law that indicates that the children each must have a separate bedroom. My brother and I shared a bedroom for 13 years as kids growing up; if anything, that brought us closer together as siblings, memories we still share today, years later. There is also no law or rule that requires a separate bed for each child. It is not inappropriate for very young children to share a bed together if age appropriate. It may not be appropriate for a teenager girl and her teenage sibling to be sharing a bed together for obvious reasons, nor would it be appropriate for a father to be sleeping in bed at night with his teenager daughter. There are “boundaries” that parents must follow, and as stated above, common sense prevails.
There is no requirement that a bed be provided. A couch, a sleeping bag, a blow up mattress are certainly arguably appropriate. A child sleeping on a cold cement floor in the basement would not be appropriate. It is certainly preferable if possible, that each child have their own bed, even if that means doubling them up in a bedroom, but it is not child neglect, child endangerment or child abuse, for children to be sleeping in rooms together, as young children, maybe share a bed together, or sleeping on couches or mattresses on the floor. While that may not be perfect for them, that is not going to be enough for a person to convince the court that the other parent not be allowed overnight placement as a result of having inadequate bedrooms or beds for the children.
For more information on this article, contact Karp & Iancu.
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