Child Custody Modifications
Award-winning child custody and placement attorneys with more than 5 decades of combined experience on your side
Even when a final court order is entered regarding child custody and/or placement in Wisconsin, it does not mean that this is permanent. In Wisconsin, custody refers to which parent has decision making authority for a child, and it is almost always joint; placement refers to when a child spends time with each parent. Custody and placement orders can be modified under certain circumstances. Whether or not your order can be modified depends on the specific facts pertaining to your case.
If you have questions or concerns about obtaining a custody or placement modification, contact the award-winning Wisconsin family law attorneys at Bandle and Zaeske, LLP. With more than 50 years of combined experience handling custody and placement issues, we can help you work toward modifying your current arrangement to make it a better fit for you and your children. We help families in Milwaukee, Washington, Ozaukee and Waukesha counties.
Reasons to Modify a Custody or placement Order
There are many different reasons why a modification to a child custody or placement order may be best for you and for your children. For example, if the order was finalized when your children were very young, the parental time allocation that made sense at that time may no longer be working for your children.
Additionally, there may be changes in income that may warrant a modification of child support. It is also relatively common for one or both parents to move from where they lived at the time the original order was entered, so a modification to the allocation of parenting time may be necessary due to a change in distance between the parents.
Very often, the introduction of a new significant other changes the relationship between a parent and their child. This may necessitate a change in custody or placement.
When Can a Child Custody Order Be Modified?
There are different requirements for when a child custody or placement order may be modified depending on the reason for the modification. If you are seeking a modification less than two years after the final order has been entered, you must first file a Motion to Modify with the court. Then, you will have the burden of proof to establish that the current custody order is physically or emotionally harmful to the best interests of the child or children.
If you wish to modify the child custody or placement order at any time after two years has passed from the entry of the initial order, you will instead have to establish that there was a substantial change in circumstances and that the modification is in the best interest of the child.
What the court will consider to be a substantial change in circumstances varies and depends heavily on the specific facts in your case. You may be able to demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances if a parent moved and it caused problems with the current parenting time schedule. It may also be considered a substantial change in circumstances if a child’s behavior or grades have changed significantly.
Contact us for custody and placement order modifications
If you wish to have your current child custody or placement order modified, or your child’s other parent is requesting a modification that you do not agree with, we can help. Contact leading Wisconsin divorce and family attorneys at Bandle and Zaeske, LLP to discuss your legal needs by calling (414) 359-1424 or sending us an email to schedule a confidential consultation. We handle cases in Milwaukee, Washington, Racine, Fond du Lac, Dodge, Ozaukee and Waukesha counties.