If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, the welfare of your child in a post-divorce world will be top priority.
Child custody matters will be a focal point in the divorce proceedings. The judge will consider many factors in order to make decisions based on the best interests of your son or daughter.
In the state of Wisconsin, there are two forms of child custody. Physical custody, usually granted to one parent, refers to taking responsibility for the child’s day-to-day needs. The court will award the other parent with visitation rights. On the other hand, the court prefers to award joint legal custody to both parents, so they have equal decision-making input concerning matters of importance such as the child’s education, medical needs and religious upbringing.
Best interests standard
In general, the court will consider several basic factors under the best interests of the child standard:
– Age: Young children need more parental care, and the judge will consider the child’s age in terms of child custody
– Parenting ability: The court will seek evidence of a parent’s ability to meet the child’s physical and emotional needs
– Consistency: The court believes consistency in a child’s daily routine is important and would rather not see it disrupted.
– Safety concerns: The judge will deny custody to any parent who might pose safety issues for the child.
Show your involvement
It is important to demonstrate your ability as a loving, nurturing parent when the matter of child custody comes before the court. In weighing many factors, the judge will want assurances that you and the other parent will continue to be actively involved in the life of your child once the divorce is behind you.