In: Family Law0

The Difference Between Legal Custody & Physical Placement in Wisconsin

Milwaukee-area law firm provides experienced, compassionate counsel

In the state of Wisconsin, the courts recognize both legal custody and physical placement of a child in divorce cases. While the terms are often used interchangeably, there are important differences between the two and it is important to understand the distinction if you are considering — or in the process of — divorce. At Bandle & Zaeske, LLP, our experienced legal team is knowledgeable in all facets of Wisconsin divorce law, and we compassionately guide our clients through the divorce process for the most favorable outcome in each case.

How is child custody and visitation determined in Wisconsin?

In determining child custody and visitation, the Wisconsin courts are guided by what is deemed to be in the best interests of the child. The court considers the circumstances of both the child and the parents, evaluating several factors to make this determination.

Legal custody

Legal custody concerns the right of a child’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s) to make major life decisions for the child. These decisions may include religious upbringing, educational choices, and other matters. In cases where joint custody is ordered, both parents will make these decisions on behalf of their child. The state of Wisconsin makes a presumption of legal joint custody, absent evidence that sole custody serves the best interest of the child.

Physical placement in Wisconsin

Physical placement refers to the when the child will live with each parent. The party that has physical placement of the child has the right and responsibility to make routine daily decisions concerning the child’s care during the time of physical placement with that individual. In all but rare circumstances, both parents have placement time with the children.  A placement schedule may range from primary physical placement with one parent to equal shared placement between the parents.   Each physical placement schedule is established based on the unique circumstances of the situation, taking into consideration the schedules and the needs of both the parents and the child.

Experienced, knowledgeable, and compassionate

At Bandle & Zaeske, LLP, our divorce attorneys share more than 50 years of legal experience. With in-depth knowledge of Wisconsin divorce and family law, our team has been recognized by several legal organizations and publications. Attorney Eric Zaeske was named a top divorce and family law attorney by Wisconsin’s M Magazine for four consecutive years. Attorney Christie Bandle received the prestigious Rising Star designation by Super Lawyers, an honor awarded to less than 2.5% of Wisconsin lawyers each year. Bandle & Zaeske, LLP is dedicated to providing compassionate counsel through every step of the divorce process to achieve the best possible outcome in each case. Arrange a consultation with a member of our team online or by contacting our office directly at 414-359-1424.

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