Joint Legal Custody

Milwaukee Wisconsin Joint Custody Attorneys

Joint custody allows each parent to make decisions in their children’s lives

In a divorce, issues involving the children are often the most painful. The transition from one home to two is stressful for both the children and the parents as they struggle to adjust to their new lives. In Wisconsin, it is presumed that children benefit from having strong relationships with both parents. For this reason, joint custody is commonly ordered during a divorce. At Bandle & Zaeske, our Wisconsin custody attorneys work hard to obtain custody arrangements that work for you and your individual family needs.

Custody refers to the right to make major decisions about one’s children. For example, where a child goes to school, what religion the child will practice, and choices about the child’s medical care are all major decisions.

Each parent has the right to make decisions about their children. Neither parent’s decision is superior to the other in joint legal custody. Both parents should discuss issues involving the children and then work together to make a decision that considers each parent’s concerns.

However, parents, whether they are married or divorced, often do not agree on issues involving their children. What happens if the parents in a joint legal custody arrangement disagree on a major decision, such as where the children should go to school?

If the parents simply cannot agree on the matter, they may have to go back to court to have a judge decide the issue. Each party will present their arguments on the matter and the court will make a ruling that the parties must follow.

The presumption of joint legal custody in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, there is a presumption that joint legal custody is best for the children. However, if a party feels that sole custody is a better arrangement, that party may present evidence to the court in support of this position. With sole custody, one parent has the decision-making power. Sole custody may be awarded in situations involving:

  • Domestic violence
  • Alcoholism
  • Drug abuse
  • A parent’s criminal record, including the consideration of current or future jail sentences
  • If a parent is a member of the armed forces
  • The parties consent to sole custody

Judges will consider what is in the best interests of the child when making decisions on custody.

The children’s records

With joint legal custody, each parent has the right to access a child’s records. Health records, school records, dental records, and other documents should be provided to each parent at that parent’s request. In fact, by law, schools and health care professionals must provide this information to a parent when that parent requests it. In many contested divorces, one parent may try to keep a child’s records from the other parent. To avoid these situations, each parent has the right to request these documents directly from the source.

If you need guidance with custody in your divorce, call our Milwaukee Wisconsin joint custody lawyers today

The Wisconsin joint custody attorneys at Bandle & Zaeske understand that custody disputes are stressful and overwhelming. We have guided numerous parents in these cases and have secured favorable outcomes for many. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your custody concerns, call 414-359-1424 or contact us online.

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