Lawyers Experienced With Child Custody and Placement

You love your children. You want what is best for them. You want them to have a good home. You want to make sure they have as much time with you as possible.

We understand. At Nicholson, Gansner & Otis, S.C., in Madison, our attorneys are passionate about creating child custody/placement plans that reflect our clients' wishes and their children's best interests. Whether you are going through a divorce, recently had a child or need to modify an existing placement plan, we can help.

How Physical Placement (Custody) Works

In Wisconsin, there is no such thing as "full custody." Instead, parents create a physical placement schedule that lists where the children should be and when. Under Wisconsin law, physical placement plans must allow regular, meaningful time with both parents. In some cases, the children remain with one parent most of the time and have periods of placement (visitation) with the other parent. In other cases, courts will split placement 50/50 to allow each parent equal time with the children.

When a court decides placement or determines whether a parenting plan is valid, it will evaluate what is in the children's best interests based on several factors, including:

  • Each parent's wishes and availability to care for the children
  • The children's wishes
  • The parents' ability to communicate and cooperate with each other
  • Other relationships the children have with family and friends

What Is Legal Custody?

In addition to physical placement, you will need to decide legal custody. Legal custody is the right to make important decisions, including decisions regarding health care, schooling and religion. While many parents choose joint legal custody and share decision-making, there are times when it is more appropriate to grant sole legal custody to one parent, such as in cases of domestic violence.

Making the Important Decisions

Generally, it is best if parents can come to an agreement about custody on their own. This is not always possible. If you and the other parent cannot make custody decisions together, the court will ask you to meet with a mediator, a neutral third party who will attempt to help you come to a custody decision. Should mediation be unsuccessful, you can bring your case to court.

As respected and experienced trial lawyers, we can help you negotiate an appropriate agreement with your spouse or effectively advocate for your interests in mediation and court. Discuss your case with us in a free 30 minute initial consultation by calling 608-620-0018 or contacting us online.