Child Custody and Placement for the Pro Se Litigant in Wisconsin
Although the term “custody” is commonly understood to refer to which parent the child lives with after divorce, it’s a little more complicated than that. “Custody” actually refers to legal custody of the child—the authority to make decisions regarding the minor child. “Placement” refers to the living arrangements for the child—which child the parent lives with and the amount of time the child has with the other parent.
In the past, courts tended to place children with one parent exclusively, typically the mother, with the other parent being granted occasional weekends and holidays. Today, courts seek to maximize the time a child spends with both parents—even to the point of equalizing the time spent with each parent, whenever possible.
What Does The Court Consider When Deciding Child Custody and Placement?
Chapter 767.41 (5) (am) of the Wisconsin statutes identifies the “Factors in Custody and Physical Placement Determinations” the court must consider. If you are representing yourself pro se in a divorce proceeding and have children, you would be well advised to acquaint yourself with these 16 factors.
All too often, divorces turn into bitter custody battles. If you and your spouse are diametrically opposed on the custody and placement issues, our advice is for you to retain full legal representation. These types of cases always require far more time and greater availability than limited scope representation can provide.
If, on the other hand, you and your spouse have roughed out a plan for who your child(ren) will live with after your divorce and you don’t foresee a nasty battle ahead, limited scope representation may work well for you. Divorce PRO can help button down all the details the court will need to approve in order to finalize your divorce.
Benefits of Limited Scope Representation in Custody and Placement Actions
Limited scope representation offers the peace of mind that comes with having an attorney assisting you throughout your divorce, but without the huge legal fees that come with full legal representation. With Divorce PRO, you get an experienced family law attorney at flat fee rates ranging from $25 to $150—well below the $210 average hourly fee for a Wisconsin attorney.
Divorce is far too complicated to handle entirely on your own, especially if there are children involved. Divorce PRO will not only ensure the legal forms and paperwork you need to file are in order, but also prepare you for important court dates. We will even appear with you in court if the need arises. And while the court’s criteria for custody and placement are based on the best interests of your child(ren), we’re here to help make sure you aren’t steamrolled in the process.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation Today!
The best way to determine if limited scope representation will work for you is to schedule a free case evaluation. Start by completing our confidential Intake Questionnaire.