Recently, I received a phone call from a potential client wondering if a child, after reaching a certain age, can be the one to determine where he or she wants to live in a divorce situation. Sometimes, courts refer to as it as the “age of consent”. In Wisconsin, age 14 is an age of a child in which the child’s wishes is given more weight than when they are younger. However, that is only one of many factors that the court looks to in determining with which parent a child should live (placement). Just because a child is 14 years of age does not mean his or her wishes are the only factor a court considers in placement issues.
The next question was whether or not a court hearing would be required. It is always best to have an agreement be made an order from a judge. This can avoid problems in the future. Of course, if both parents agree they can always modify court orders. Again, the problem is when the agreement turns “sour”. In those situations, you are then faced with either returning to the old order or, if you do not, face contempt charges for failing to abide by the court order. Remember, the court order that is in effect is the one that should be followed.
Child placement issues are complicated. If you have questions or concerns contact one of the family law attorneys at Krueger Hernandez & Thompson SC for a no cost, no obligation consultation. We have been helping families deal with these issues for almost three decades. Remember at Krueger Hernandez & Thompson SC children come first. If you have questions in the Madison area call (608) 824-8540, the Baraboo area call (608) 356-3961 or statewide call (866) 455-2993. Please feel free to check out our website at https://khtlawyers.com for more information.