I want “custody”! I have heard it hundreds of times. Every time I hear it I know right away that my potential client does not understand the difference between custody and placement.
Custody has to do with making major decisions regarding your child’s life. Just because husbands and wives divorce themselves does not mean they still do not have to make major decisions for their minor children. This could be for health reasons, school or religious reasons. Generally, the law presumes that both parents in a divorce situation will have joint custody meaning they will continue to make parental decisions together just as they did when they were living together as husband and wife. In rare circumstances, the court will grant sole custody. This means that only one of the parents will have the right to make these major decisions. Sole custody is awarded in situations where one of the parents may not have the ability to make sound decisions for their child or perhaps the person is incarcerated or for other reasons unable to work with the other parent in a cooperative manner to make these decisions. In any event, custody does not have anything to do with where the child lives.
Where the child lives is called placement. There can be primary placement where the child lives most of the time with one parent, shared placement where the child spends almost equal time with both parents and in certain cases equal shared placement which means the child spends the same amount of time with both parents. This case be week-to-week or certain days every week and every other weekend with the outcome being the same, equal. The choices are many.
Parents can agree on placement but if they cannot then a Guardian ad Litem is appointed by the court to come up with a placement schedule that is in the best interest of the child. How much placement one parent has does affect what the other may pay for child support. In some situations, a parent will claim to want more placement so they pay less in child support. In those situations, you must have an experienced family law attorney to expose the real request for equal or primary placement.
Hopefully, this answers some of your questions about the difference between custody and placement. Remember, this is a short article and there are many, many more issues with respect to both that cannot be answered in a blog. If you are in need of a divorce attorney or have post divorce issues affecting custody and placement as well as child support or maintenance please contact the experienced family law attorneys at Krueger Hernandez & Thompson SC for a no cost, no obligation consultation to discuss your rights.
At Krueger Hernandez & Thompson SC, children come first. We listen, we care, we get results. 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.