Tag: Guardian Ad Litem

Wisconsin Custody and Physical Placement of a Child

wisconsin physical placement child custodyIf you are a parent considering divorce, you and your spouse may be able to work out an agreement regarding child custody and physical placement that works well for your child.  Child custody refers to a right to make legal decisions regarding your child, which may include where your child will attend school, their religious affiliation, what medical care they receive and more. Some parents agree to make all important decisions together, but for others working together on any level may prove difficult.  Keep in mind that the court goes in with a presumption that both parents should have decision making authority of their child unless there is evidence of problems such as domestic violence or abuse. In the absence of any serious issues, you and your spouse may have to be flexible when approaching how you will handle custody of your child.

Physical Placement

Physical placement refers to how much time a child spends with each parent. If you and your spouse intend to live in close proximity following the divorce, you may be able to work out an arrangement where the child divides their time between both homes somewhat equally. To cut down disruption to daily school attendance, parents who live a bit farther apart may opt for an every other weekend arrangement during the school year and split summer breaks and holidays. When trying to reach a workable arrangement, it is important to consider the age of the child and their comfort level in switching between homes, or whether traveling longer distances to spend time with a parent is a good fit. Certainly as kids get older, they are more able to make sense out of the shuffle allowing them to benefit from a relationship with both parents.

When couples cannot agree on custody or physical placement, they may be referred by the court to counseling in an attempt to reach an agreement. Failing that, a judge will decide after considering the unique circumstances presented. He or she may enlist the help of a child representative such as a Guardian Ad Litem to make recommendations on custody and placement that serve the child’s best interests. If there are issues that may present a danger to a child such as a recent history of drug abuse or domestic abuse, custody and placement may be affected as problems are resolved.

Questions Regarding Wisconsin Child Custody or Physical Placement?

If you have questions regarding Wisconsin custody and physical placement, please contact our Wisconsin family law attorneys for answers. The Milwaukee and Waukesha area child custody lawyers of Probst Law offices have over three decades of experience with family law and can help you work through child custody issues. Call us today at 414-210-3135 or send us an email to schedule your free consultation.

Child Custody Dispute : The Role of the Guardian Ad Litem

custody visitation lawyer and attorney wisconsinIf divorcing parents cannot agree on a custody and visitation arrangement for their child, the court may assign a guardian ad litem (GAL) to represent the interests of a child in a Wisconsin child custody dispute.

Contested Child Custody and Visitation

A guardian ad litem is a person the court appoints to investigate what solutions are in the best interests of the child. They are typically appointed in contested child custody and visitation cases, but they may also be involved in adoptions, termination of parental rights cases or other cases that require more information about the child’s circumstances.

A GAL can look at things such as where the child should live most of the time, whether there are issues of substance abuse, or what contact a child should have with a parent. Depending on what is in the court order, a GAL may be asked to report on the overall situation and offer a custody recommendation to the court or their role may be limited to investigating a few specific issues.

The best interests of the child are first and foremost in a disputed custody case, of course. The GAL’s recommendation should strive to protect the child’s right to a meaningful, engaged relationship with both parents when possible factoring in the child’s age, the existing relationship with each parent, the stability of the home environments, and each parent’s ability to care for the child among other considerations.

A Guardian ad litem is typically an attorney or a mental health professional who has undergone special training to represent the best interests of a child. In some cases, a parent may feel that a guardian ad litem is not working effectively on behalf of their child, which may be resolved by sharing your concerns with the GAL or sharing your concerns with the court.

Within the general provisos of the Order, a GAL is required to inform the court when his or her recommendation is not in sync with a child’s wishes. To protect privacy, the report provided by the GAL is sealed so that only the parties to the custody dispute and the court can access the information. Your cooperation with the GAL is required by law and it is not permitted to exercise undue influence over your child to gain advantage during the evaluation.

Wisconsin Child Custody Dispute Lawyers

If you have questions regarding child custody in a divorce, contact the Wisconsin child custody dispute lawyers of Probst Law Offices for assistance. If you are dealing with a child custody or visitation matter, it is important to have an experienced Wisconsin family law attorney on your side. Attorneys Jane Probst and Lyndsay White have successfully represented many clients who have family law issues regarding the custody of their children in a divorce. Contact our offices at 414-210-3135 for a free consultation of your case.