In Wisconsin when parents do not live together and as defined by State Statute 767.405, parents must participate in mediation to try to determine these issues related to the child:
In the State of WI, Legal Custody means to make major DECISIONS concerning children.
The language of Legal Custody is:
Sole Legal Custody means one parent shall make the legal decisions of choice for the child;
Joint Legal Custody means the parents jointly shall make the legal decisions of choice for the child.
Examples of decisions impacted by Legal Custody are:
- Choice of Doctor / Dentist
- Consent to obtain a driver’s license
- Authorization for health/dental/mental health care
- Access to school / medical records · Choice of school and religion
- Childcare provider
- Permission to travel out side of the state/country
- Consent to marry under age
- Body piercing / tattoos
- Cell phone
- Participation in extra-curricular activities
- First option to be with the child
- To move with the child
In the State of WI, Physical Placement means the TIME children spend with each parent.
The language of Physical Placement is:
Primary Physical Placement means the child shall be with one parent most of the time and shall be with the other parent for frequent and regular periods of time;
Shared Physical Placement means the child shall be with each parent about the same amount of time and both parents shall share equally in the responsibilities of meeting the day to day needs of the child.
MEDIATION is a confidential cooperative process involving the parties and a mediator; designed to use problem solving skills to help define and resolve their own disagreements, with the primary consideration being what is in the best interest of the child. The decisions of the parents are for the reorganized family, and to answer the child’s questions:
As defined by State Statute 767.405, Issues of Legal Custody & Physical Placement are NOT the same.
“When will I be with each parent? (Physical Placement)
“Who makes decisions for me?” (Legal Custody)
The mediator cannot make decisions about the child nor testify about what is said in mediation.
A GUARDIAN AD LITEM is a lawyer who is appointed to recommend decisions to the Court for the best interest of the child. A Guardian ad Litem is appointed if parents do not reach an agreement in mediation.