What is custody?

It is important to remember that in Wisconsin we deal with two terms when dealing with children, this is custody and placement. Custody has to do with the major legal decisions that we make that have to deal with the lives of our children. These legal decisions include whether or not your children can marry prior to 18, whether they can join the military before they’re 18, whether you will sponsor them for a driver’s license, how they will pursue their education, what type of education they will pursue, and what religion they will pursue, as well as their day care providers. This is different than the day to day decisions that you will make with your child when you have placement. It is presumed in our courts that custody will be joint. This means that each parent participates equally in the decision making of their children. There are however exceptions to this rule. Sometimes custody can be awarded solely to one parent or it can be awarded to a third party. It is important for you to advise with an experienced attorney who can help you determine what custody best suits your family needs. At Lawton and Cates we have such experience in our family law team.

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