Experienced Injury Lawyers Serving Wisconsin

Wisconsin Child Custody Attorney

How Is Custody Determined in Wisconsin?

The court will consider the child's best interest in deciding whether to award joint or sole legal custody. Under Wisconsin Statutes, the court shall presume that joint legal custody is in the child's best interest. Wisconsin statutes also provide exceptions to that presumption if the parties agree to sole legal custody, the court finds that a party is not capable of performing parental duties and responsibilities, there is evidence that either party engaged in abuse of the child, or there is evidence of domestic violence.

The court may award the parties joint legal or sole custody of the minor child:

  1. Joint legal custody gives the parties equal decision-making authority regarding the significant decisions for the minor child. Neither party's rights to decide for the minor child are superior to the other party.
  2. Sole legal custody gives one party the authority to make significant decisions for the minor child.

Are you looking for full custody of your child? Call Lawton Cates today at (608) 420-4033 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our Wisconsin child custody attorney!

How to Modify a Custody Order

If you already have a court order regarding custody that court order may be modified. If the order you are seeking to modify was entered within 2 years of the final judgment the party seeking modification must show that the current custody arrangement is physically or emotionally harmful to the minor child. If the order you are seeking to modify was entered 2 or more years ago you must show that the modification you are seeking is in the best interest of the child and there has been a substantial change of circumstances since the entry of the last order affecting legal custody.

Helping Clients Seek Fair Agreements That Support A Child’s Best Interests

No matter what you’ve heard on television or read on the internet, in Wisconsin courts, “custody” refers to the ability to make significant decisions for a minor child. In any action affecting the family, including but not limited to divorce, legal separation, or paternity action, the court will enter an order addressing custody of a minor child. When the court enters an order awarding party custody of a minor child, the court gives that party the right and responsibility to make significant decisions concerning the child.

These major decisions include but are not limited to decisions regarding the consent to marry, consent to enter the military service, support to obtain a driver’s license, authorizations for non-emergency medical decisions, the choice of school, and the choice of religion.

Contact Lawton Cates today to schedule a FREE consultation with our child custody attorney in Wisconsin!

Client Testimonials

  • "Terry took the time to comfortably explain all and discuss options and decision-making that could be done along the way with clear pros and cons and asking me how I’d like to proceed."
    Jim R.
  • Compassionate, thorough, & made it easy to understand what’s going on.

    Riley G.
  • Lawton & Cates has been the most supportive and helpful!

  • "Everyone was so very kind to me... We were all made to feel welcome, made to feel supported, and made to feel like we belong there. That was very important to me since I was pretty stressed out a lot of the time."
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