Tag: Milwaukee child custody and visitation lawyer

Sharing Custody of Children Across All Ages and Stages

sharing custody When there are children involved in a divorce, it is unrealistic to expect that visitation arrangements will be set in stone throughout a child’s life. As the child grows from an infant to a teenager, parents will often make changes to child custody and visitation arrangements to meet their child’s needs. Parents who keep an open line of communication and are able to work together can often make appropriate changes simply by talking to the other parent. However, sometimes, a parent may need to work with an attorney to change a custody agreement to respond to a child’s changing needs.

If you are divorcing and you have an infant, for example, the parenting plan may shape up to include a non-custodial parent having more frequent, albeit shorter visits, instead of every other weekend. Generally, shorter visits may work best for infants, especially those who are nursing, but if you choose to alternate weekends and homes, be prepared to be flexible if a baby is having difficulty.

Toddlers are going through a lot of changes and can be sensitive to changes in their environment and shifting between caregivers. Separation anxiety can be made easier by building in more time for transitions and having regular contact with both parents. Communication between parents is key so that the approach to discipline, sleep schedules and other issues are relatively consistent for the child’s benefit.

When your child reaches preschool age, they will be more verbal and cognitive and can often begin to handle a typical visitation schedule, such as spending alternate weekends at the other parent’s home although a gradual approach is probably best. It is helpful if the other parent routinely has a weekly in- person contact with the child and that the child is able to communicate with either parent by telephone when in different settings.

When a child heads off to elementary school, the parents will want to make sure that school attendance is a priority. It is important that a child gets plenty of rest on school nights so overnights will likely be confined to weekends and holidays unless the parents live in close proximity to one another and the school. With the added responsibility of school, dialing down disruptions may require flexibility on the parents’ parts when working out a visitation schedule.

During the tween years, kids will likely be involved in more activities and have friends they want to hang out with while continuing to need a close relationship with both parents. You will want to continue to follow a schedule of course, but making sure both parents have built in time with the child and can share in their new interests is key.

The teen years requires more input from your child regarding the visitation schedule. Independence is important at this age and a teen will likely have more demands on their time such as homework, a job, friends, and other activities, in addition to an ongoing relationship with his or her parents. You will have to find a balance by supporting your child’s lifestyle but letting them know you both want to spend time with him or her even if it’s a matter of reserving a weekend or a couple of afternoons a month to spend with a parent.

Just because your child is 18, it is not over by a long shot. Adult children still need the love, support and continued presence of their parents. Parents should continue to show respect to the other parent in the child’s presence and both make an effort to be involved in their child’s adult life.

When trying to reach a custody and visitation arrangement in a divorce, it is important to be sensitive to your changing needs as they progress through childhood into adulthood.  If you are considering divorce and have concerns about child custody and visitation contact the Wisconsin family law attorneys of Probst Law Offices at 414-210-3135.




Keeping Your Wisconsin Divorce Settlement Agreement on Track

divorce settlement agreement The heart of a Wisconsin divorce settlement agreement will address issues of child custody and visitation, marital property division, spousal maintenance (alimony) and child support. Many hope to reach a settlement to avoid going to court, but it often takes a skilled negotiator to make it happen if the parties do not agree on the issues. This is where an experienced Wisconsin divorce attorney can help.

Before sitting down at the table with your spouse and his or her attorney, you and your divorce lawyer will plan the meeting, which often includes an agenda, preferably in writing. Your attorney will often work through less contentious issues first to establish a cooperative tone and move into more heated issues as the meeting progresses. It goes without saying that if you start with the sore point, you will get nowhere on the other issues. However, if you work out the bulk of the issues and then tackle points of strong disagreement, your spouse may be more willing to try and work it out in the spirit of continued cooperation.

A skilled negotiator will help keep the focus on the issues, not in taking positions. For example, if you and your spouse are discussing who will pay for the children’s college educations, the issue is really the cost of college and how to finance it, not a battle over whether your kid should be able to attend the priciest institution.  In the same example, if your spouse wants you to pay for half of the kids college tuition, but you do not feel that you should have to pay anything, negotiations will likely break down. It is much better to remain flexible as you work through the issues and, in this case, perhaps offering to pay a third or making your contribution contingent upon your income when the children enter school will keep negotiations on track.

Another area where couples may not see eye to eye is marital property division, but again flexibility when trying to decide who gets what will go a long way. If you have your heart set on keeping the vintage car, for example, then be prepared to trade something of roughly equal value to achieve your goal. Before sitting down, decide what you want to keep and what you are willing to trade in return to keep the discussion moving.

Sometimes, couples cannot agree on all issues but are able to get a large part of the agreement worked out before heading to court saving them time and money. The best approach in any Wisconsin divorce settlement agreement is to work a skilled negotiator – your family law attorney – who can advocate your position while working toward an agreement you can both feel good about. Contact the Southeastern Wisconsin family law attorneys of Probst Law Offices for more information about the divorce settlement process at 414-210-3135.



Appealing Wisconsin Family Court Commissioner Order

Appealing Wisconsin Family Court Commissioner OrderTypically, in Wisconsin, family law matters will be heard in front of a family court commissioner out of a need for efficiency and expediency. Sometimes parties believe that the commissioner “got it wrong” and wonder if there is any recourse.  The answer is yes. If you disagree with a commissioner’s decision in a contested family court commissioner hearing, you have the right to appeal a Wisconsin family court commissioner order.

Appealing Wisconsin Family Court Commissioner Order

Any party has the right to file a review of a court commissioner’s order or can request a new hearing by filing a de novo motion for review.  The difference between the two is that a motion filed simply as a review is really just requesting that a judge decide whether the commissioner properly exercised his or her discretion. On the other hand, in a de novo motion for review, you will be entitled to a new hearing, which can result in a completely different outcome depending on the court’s findings.

De Novo Motion for Review Hearings

If you go the de novo review route, recent case law holds that a ‘full’ evidentiary hearing is in the best interest of all parties to avoid appeals or reversals. Any new evidence or issues that have come up since the initial hearing may be heard providing an important opportunity to present newly discovered or overlooked information that may help your case.

Although rules vary from county to county, filing a de novo motion for review of a family court commissioner’s order is often subject to a strict timeline and may require certain documents to accompany the filing. It is important to check on the local court rules to ensure you are in compliance with the requirements.

Contact a Divorce Lawyer With Decades of Wisconsin Family Court Experience

If you have questions regarding a Wisconsin divorce or the process of appealing Wisconsin family court commissioner orders, contact the Waukesha and Milwaukee family law offices of Probst Law Offices S.C. for more information today at 414-210-3135.

Establishing Paternity of a Child in Wisconsin

Paternity refers to a legal relationship between a father and child, which allows a father to pursue custody and visitation arrangements while imposing a legal obligation for the father to support his child financially. Although paternity is automatically established when a child is conceived to a married couple, many couples are not tying the knot these days so sometimes establishing paternity can become an issue.

One of the easiest ways to establish paternity in Wisconsin is for the parents to sign a statement acknowledging that the father is, in fact, the biological parent. Remember, a statement acknowledging paternity should only be signed if you are certain regarding the parentage of the child because it is easier to sign on than it is to rescind it later.

When the acknowledgement of paternity is filed with the court, a judge can then decide custody, visitation and child support issues.  It is a good idea to secure legal representation to ensure that a child’s best interests are being served, particularly if you have any concerns.

If there is a disagreement regarding the paternity of a child, a mother or a father can file a petition to establish paternity with the court. In the past, this may have conjured up an image of a mother tracking down a deadbeat dad, but nowadays, there are more and more cases of dads seeking to establish paternity so they can have a relationship with their child.

Aside from a mom or dad filing, a child, a child’s representative, a child’s guardian, the State and even a grandparent of a dependent parent can all file a petition to establish legal fatherhood ‘paternity’ in Wisconsin. A potential father can be ordered to undergo a paternity test and if his test results come back positive, paternity will be established unless there is convincing proof to the contrary.

The belief is that children benefit from a relationship with both parents and of course the financial support that two parents can provide. However, there are cases where a biological father may have a history of domestic abuse, drug or alcohol addiction, or other harmful behaviors that could potentially harm the child.

In cases where a father is on the road to establishing paternity rights and the other parent has legitimate concerns, it is very important to seek the help of an experienced family law attorney who can help you seek a custody and visitation arrangement that takes into account the unique circumstances of your case.

If on the other hand, you are a father who has simply been cut out of the equation because the other parent would rather move on, you have a right to have a relationship with your child and should pursue legal representation to that end.

Contact Experienced Wisconsin Paternity and Parental Rights Attorneys

Over 25 Years of Experience Handling Parental Rights Cases In Wisconsin

If you have questions regarding Wisconsin paternity, child custody and visitation or child support, contact an experienced Wisconsin paternity attorney at the Family Law Offices of Jane Probst for a free consultation today.


Child Custody In Cases of Domestic Violence

Sad LadyIf domestic violence was an issue during a marriage, sometimes it will impact how a victim and his or her ex-spouse will be able to co-parent after a separation or divorce particularly in the first year after the split.

A recent study by the University of Illinois takes a closer look at co-parenting relationships in the year immediately following separation for couples with a history of intimate partner violence. The studies seeks to answer questions such as whether harassment continues following divorce and if parents emerging from domestic violence situations can support each other as co -parents.

It turns out that the type of violence a victim is subjected to, has an impact on co-parenting success. Couples who were involved in situational violence such as arguments escalating into physical abuse against a victim, for example, had better outcomes when compared to couples engaged in a relationship involving coercive, controlling violence.

Although victims of situational violence in marriage did continue to experience harassment and conflict during the first year, it was less than those who left controlling, violent relationships. It appears that parents who emerge from marriages where situational violence erupts are more able to work out issues after the divorce, allowing them to work toward co-parenting more readily.

In contrast, victims who had experienced coercive, controlling violence in their marriages continued to experience higher levels of harassment, conflict, and volatility from their former partners. A level of unpredictability played out for many victims who might experience high levels of conflict and harassment that sometimes improved or seemed better, only to worsen all over again. It is an unfortunate cycle of fear and unpredictability that undermines co-parenting success.

Waukesha Divorce, Child Custody and Domestic Violence Attorneys

A history of domestic violence in a marriage can have a lasting impact on families in a divorce.  It is important that all parties, especially those working on behalf of the children, the victim and the abusive spouse, understand the effects that specific types of violence have on the ability to co-parent when making child custody assessments in a divorce. If you are seeking a divorce and have been a victim of abuse, it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney to represent your and your children’s best interests. Call the Waukesha Family Law Attorneys of Probst Law Offices for help today at 414-210- 3135.