PROPOSED BILL COULD CHANGE STANDARDS FOR CUSTODY AND PLACEMENT
In Wisconsin, when a court makes custody and placement determinations for children, the court examines the best interests of the children. When examining the best interests of the children, the court considers numerous statutory factors. In addition, when allocating periods of physical placement with the parents, the court must try to maximize the amount of time the children may spend with each parent, taking into consideration geographic seperation and accomodations for different households.
A proposed bill may change the manner in which Wisconsin courts reach decisions regarding legal custody and physical placement. This bill is 2011 AB 54. If this bill passes, courts would be required to presume that a placement schedule that equalizes to the highest degree the amount of time the child may spend with each parent is in the child’s best interest. This presumption could only be overcome if the court found, by clear and convincing evidence, after consideration of the statutory factors, that equalizing physical placement would not be in the children’s best interest.
This proposed bill has caused significant controversy between proponents and opponenets. Proponents of the bill believe that it will provide both parents with equal footing at the start of a court’s determination of custody and placement. Opponents of the bill think the bill places the interests of the parents before the children while creating a situation in which parents who are not capable of taking care of their children are given equal shared placement.
If this bill is passed into law in Wisconsin, it could significantly alter the landscape for how courts decide custody and placement cases. Our office routinely assists clients who are seeking custody and placement of their children. Call or email Greg for a consultation.