1.    In deciding on placement of your minor children, the Court looks at the best interests of your children.

2.    Specific factors the Court considers in determining the best interests of your children include the following:

A.    The wishes of the child’s parents;

B.    The wishes of the child;

C.    The interaction of the child with his/her parents, brothers and sisters and any other person who significantly affects the child’s best interests;

D.    The amount of time each parent has spent with the child in the past;

E.    The child’s adjustment to home, school, religion and community;

F.    The age of the child and the child’s developmental and educational needs;

G.    The physical and mental health of the parties and child;

H.    The need for regularly occurring and meaningful periods of placement;

I.    The availability of child care services;

J.    The cooperation between the parties;

K.    Whether one parent can support the other parent’s relationship with the child; and

L.    Whether either party engaged in domestic abuse.

3.    Generally, the Court orders mediation between the parties before a matter is set for a hearing on placement.

4.    If mediation fails, the Court will generally appoint a Guardian Ad Litem who acts as an advocate for the minor child. The parties usually share the cost of the Guardian Ad Litem, but the Court may deviate from that presumption.

5.    It is the obligation of the Court to set a placement schedule, “that allows the child to have regular occurring meaningful periods of physical placement with each parent and that maximizes the amount of time the child may spend with each parent.” Sec. 767.41, Wis. Stats.

As you can see from an analysis of the above factors, it is important that you retain an experienced, child placement attorney to represent your interests in a child custody or child placement dispute. A child placement lawyer must have experience in custody and placement cases because the law and trends of the State of Wisconsin change regularly. The child placement attorneys at Vanden Heuvel & Dineen, S.C. law firm are knowledgeable, experienced and top-rated placement lawyers with local offices in West Bend and Germantown, serving Washington, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Dodge and Door Counties, Wisconsin.

For a FREE placement or child custody consultation or additional resources, call 1-800-805-1976 or 1-866-LAW-HELP or 1-262-250-1976.