Family Court Definitions
In Wisconsin, when parents do not live together and as defined by State Statute 767,
parents must participate in mediation to try to determine issues related to the child.
As defined by WI State Statute 767.41,
ISSUES OF LEGAL CUSTODY AND PHYSICAL PLACEMENT
ARE NOT THE SAME.
The language of the Court for “LEGAL CUSTODY” means “DECISIONS” for the child.
The courts identify Legal Custody as:
- Sole Legal Custody: one parent shall make the legal decisions of choice for the child;
-- OR --
- Joint Legal Custody: the parents shall jointly make 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 (includes counseling for the child)
- Access to school/medical records
- Choice of school
- The religion of the child
- Childcare provider
- Travel outside of the state/USA.
- Consent to marry under age
- Body piercing/tattoos
- Cell phone
- Participation in extra-curricular activities
- Move with the child
The language of the Court for “PHYSICAL PLACEMENT” means TIME with the child (previously known as ‘visitation’).
Both parents shall share in the responsibilities of meeting the day to day needs of the child as defined by the parents in mediation.
Placement agreements on Holidays/Special Days as well as plans for vacations and school breaks take priority over regular or Day-to-Day periods of placement.