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Child Custody and Placement (visitation)

Never go into a Courtroom Alone!

Wisconsin law requires the Court to make orders of both legal custody and physical placement (visitation) when the parents of the child are no longer together, whether that be through a natural separation or divorce action. It is important to discuss the difference between legal custody and physical placement.

Legal custody is the ability to make decisions on behalf of a minor child. Decisions including, but not limited to, a child’s schooling, religion, health care and other major life issues will be made. In general, Wisconsin assumes that both parties should have legal custody. This is called Joint Legal Custody.  In certain limited cases, it may be appropriate that only one parent have decision making authority called Sole Legal Custody.

Different from custody, Physical Placement (visitation), establishes where a child is physically located at a given time. For example, where a child primarily lives, how often and for how long a child spends with each parent and where a child celebrates holidays. Physical placement schedules are unique to each case. Generally, time with your child may be divided evenly between both parents or it could be determined that one parent should be awarded primary physical placement with the other parent having set periods of physical placement.

Custody and placement determinations are based on the best interests of the children.  If the parties cannot reach an agreement on custody and placement, a Guadian ad Litem (GAL) will be appointed to investigate what custody and placement arrangement would be in the child’s best interest.  The Guardian ad Litem then presents their findings to the court in the form of a recommendation. The court considers the Guardian ad Litem’s recommendation in light of the following factors when determining what custody and placement arrangement would be in your child’s best interest:

  • The wishes of the parents.
  • The wishes of the children.
  • The relationships of the children with the parents and other significant persons.
  • The children’s adjustments to home, community, school and religion.
  • The mental and physical health of the parties and the children.
  • The availability of child care services.
  • Whether one party is likely to unreasonably interfere with the children’s relationships with the other party.
  • Whether there is evidence that a party has engaged in child abuse.
  • Whether there is evidence that a party has engaged in interspousal battery.
  • Whether either party has a significant problem with alcohol or drug abuse.

In addition to the above ten factors, the court may consider such other factors as the court may in each case determine to be relevant. There are many creative custody and placement arrangements that can be put into place. The court will never know your family as well as you do and it is the children and parents’ benefit to develop a plan that best meets your needs.  Kaehne, Cottle, Pasquale & Associates’ family law attorneys encourage clients to resolve custody and placement (visitation) issues in ways that take into account the needs of the family as a whole but recognize that an agreement may not be an option. In that event, we are prepared to passionately litigate your case.


Our Results

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Beyond Expectations

My husband had never been in any legal trouble before and we didn’t know what to do or what the process was. Attorney Kaehne was very upfront and willing to explain every step of the way. My husband can be very skeptical when it comes to trusting people with his best interest, but Attorney Kaehne always remained professional and helpful. My husband was facing the possibility of years in prison and Attorney Kaehne was able to get the matter dismissed. He will always be our first choice!

The Outcome was Far Better than I Expected

Attorney Kaehne always communicated with me on what was going on and his plans for future court appearances. The outcome of the case was far more better than I expected and am really pleased that Chad did what he did to get this issue resolved.

Treated like Family

Amazing people as well as amazing attorneys. I was always treated like family.

Not Guilty Verdict

Attorney Corey Mehlos gave my case the upmost attention. He worked very hard and many long hours on it. I was impressed with his dedication and his understanding to my wishes. Not Guilty verdict at my jury trial. I highly recommend him.

In Good Hands

One of the best things about this firm is that they are truly advocates for you in every sense of the word. They listen, affirm, and explain everything without all the jargon that can so often times come with anything regarding the legal cases. I felt supported and knew I was in good hands.

Getting Responses at 9:00 pm at Night

The best lawyer you can hire for your case! Chad was extremely helpful and polite in answering all of my questions. I was even getting responses to my emails at 9 at night. He did a great job helping me get through the legal process. I recommend him to anyone needing a good lawyer.

Keen Sense of Justice and Honesty

Amaro is a very efficient attorney with extensive knowledge of the hispanic culture and language. He has a keen sense of justice and honesty. For the years I have know him he has proven to be a source of counsel. His clients will find his humble and cordial demeanor, appealing and refreshing. This is why I would recommend Amaro to everyone looking for legal advice.

Never Stops Working

An excellent attorney. Nicholas was very helpful with our case. He excelled at explaining complex legal concepts. Very accessible, we never had an issue getting an answer to a question. I don't think he stops working. Highly recommended.

Passion and Understanding for her Clients' Wishes

Attorney Cottle helped with my immigration case, she made the whole process much less stressful and you could tell she had a passion and understanding for her clients' wishes. Great experience, would highly recommend!

Available and Responsive to Needs of her Clients

Attorney Laborde shows professionalism in everything she does. She is a thorough lawyer who honestly cares about her clients and represents them to her full ability. She makes herself available and is responsive to the needs of her clients. I would certainly recommend her family law services!

Over-the-Top Attorney

From my experience, Attorney Kelsi Cottle has been an over-the-top attorney. She keeps me apprised of my case, has answered my questions, and treats me with respect. She has been very efficient, handles things expediently, and I feel I am represented by a very sharp attorney who has my best interest in mind.