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Wisconsin Child Custody Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Civil Litigation for Wisconsin on
Q: How do I ask the Family court commissioner to remove all non parties from the court room?

My ex and I have a placement modification hearing coming up. He will be bringing people with him. I know it can be done, but how do I ask that all non parties please be excused from the courtroom?

Jane E. Probst
Jane E. Probst answered on Jul 23, 2021

Unless it is a paternity hearing, many of these hearings are public hearings. You can object to the people being in the courtroom, but it is within the discretion of the Commissioner to ban them. You could raise the issue that these people are likely to be called as witnesses at a trial and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Wisconsin on
Q: Who determines/has right to set child custody agreement prior to it being established in court and how is it upheld?

Can custody be established outside of court or without a court ordered agreement? If so, how is that upheld/adhered to and what as a mother can I do if it is not? Is the agreement done between two parties without being court sanctioned legally binding?

Jane E. Probst
Jane E. Probst answered on Jul 15, 2021

Both parents can sign a Stipulation and Order as to custody and placement, but it will need to be filed with the Court and the Order signed by the Commissioner or Judge before it is enforceable.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Wisconsin on
Q: CHIPS petition opened on the mother and the father also lost custody of the child through no fault of his own.

Father has been secluded through out the process

Jane E. Probst
Jane E. Probst answered on Jul 5, 2021

Has the father been adjudicated the father or signed an acknowledgement of paternity if not married to the mother? If not, he needs to make CPS aware so he can be adjudicated and have legal standing in the proceedings.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Divorce and Family Law for Wisconsin on
Q: If I have 50/50 legal custody and 100% physical custody can their mom change the order and move away with kids?

I have 50/50 legal custody and 100% physical custody. I got divorced September of 2020. Their mom does not take them overnight and rarely ever sees them. She now says she is moving to Arizona and wants the kids for the summer months. Is there a way she will be able to change the order and move away... Read more »

Jane E. Probst
Jane E. Probst answered on Jun 10, 2021

No. She would need to file a Motion for Modification of Placement or you both would need to sign a Stipulation and Order for modification of the Order to allow her summer placement. She needs an Order of the Court. If she does not have the Court Order, she can not remove them without your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Wisconsin on
Q: Can one of you please review a part of my custody order? I didn't have atty, the ex says he can keep our child

I had a custody order filed over two years ago in Mille lacs county. Unfortunately I couldn't afford an attorney, and he could. Now my ex is claiming he doesn't have to let our daughter leave MN. I would've never agreed to that because my mother lives here (I live in Wisconsin since... Read more »

Jane E. Probst
Jane E. Probst answered on Jun 7, 2021

There is no County in Wisconsin by that name. You will need to consult with an attorney licensed in the State in which the Order was entered.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Could we be granted shared legal custody of our 6 year old granddaughter if we go to court.

My husband and I have been caring for our 6 yr old granddaughter (living with us) 5 days a week for most of her life. Mother has sole custody. She has signed a medical consent form so that we take care of all her doctor appointments. We are her paternal grandparents.

Jane E. Probst
Jane E. Probst answered on May 13, 2021

The Family Court Code does not provide for shared physical placement of non parents. If the parents would be found to be unfit, you could petition for guardianship. However, for a third party such as a grandparent to be awarded placement, not visitation, there would need to be a referral to the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Wisconsin on
Q: Can a mother force a father to give up rights to his child?

Father had been in jail, no visitation rights. Father is out of jail for 2 years now and the mother is taking him to court on May 21st to continue no visitation and try to terminate rights. Father has little money for a lawyer and does not want to give up rights and wants to resume sharing... Read more »

Jane E. Probst
Jane E. Probst answered on May 13, 2021

The only way a Court will terminate a parent's parental rights is if there is someone who will be adopting the child in the shoes of that parent. Family Court can enter an Order to hold open placement, but that can be modified based upon a substantial change of circumstances.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Wisconsin on
Q: Will my ex get 5050 after I have been primary caregiver since kids were born? Divorced now almost 2 years.

I have had primary placement (70/30) for over 2 years and perform all the primary caregiver functions. I moved and ended up closer to my ex to make shorter commutes for kid. For last 3 months I let him take them for 2 extra nights, because he asked and I did it out of the kindness of my heart. It... Read more »

Jane E. Probst
Jane E. Probst answered on May 10, 2021

To modify a child placement Order after two years have expired since entry of the initial order, your ex would need to prove that there has been a substantial change of circumstances since entry of the last order and that the modification is in the best interests. What will hurt you will be that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Can I lose custody of my son due to a mental illness?

Depression, PTSD, ADHD

Jane E. Probst
Jane E. Probst answered on Apr 4, 2021

If your mental illness is preventing you from safely parenting your child, this is a possibility. If you are functioning well and taking prescribed medications to control your mental illness, it is unlikely that you would lose custody or placement. Without knowing the nature of your diagnosis, it... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Wisconsin on
Q: Can my ex who is an attorney, represent himself in the state of WI? He lives in Illinois.
Jane E. Probst
Jane E. Probst answered on Apr 4, 2021

Normally, an attorney must also be licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin. However, he could represent himself pro se, meaning unrepresented by counsel, if he so chooses.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Wisconsin on
Q: My daughter in law (widowed) doesn't get back to me about visits. Do I have a legal RIGHT to see my grand kids in Wisc ?
Jane E. Probst
Jane E. Probst answered on Mar 7, 2021

To be able to obtain an order for grandparent visitation, you need to have a "substantial parental relationship" with your grandchildren. The Grandparents Right laws have become much more stringent since a Supreme Court Ruling within the past few years which shows great deference to the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Wisconsin on
Q: Do we need to file for legal guardian or custody if my ex sister in law from seattle wa, wants to send my nephew to

Live with us, the father's sisters, nin wisconsin? The father is in prision at this time and will be out in 2 years. He had sole custody of the child.

Jane E. Probst
Jane E. Probst answered on Mar 5, 2021

You would need to file a Petition for Guardianship once your nephew is present in the State of Wisconsin. Both parents will need to be served with Notice of the Petition and the hearing.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Changing physical custody and placement from full to shared.

Ok well Aug 2018 I was using drugs and I tried committing suicide slit my wrist, got put on a chapter 51 , sent to a group home by the judge until end of Dec 2018, kicked out for using drugs in there, Nov 2019 got a misdemeanor drug/paraphanelia charge and put on probation, during my time in the... Read more »

Jane E. Probst
Jane E. Probst answered on Mar 3, 2021

If your situation has changed substantially since the time of the last Order, you can file a Motion to Modify Placement and Custody if the last Order was not the initial Order. Otherwise, you can also file a Petition to Enforce the existing placement schedule and request that the Court find him in... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Wisconsin on
Q: If behind on child support can they claim children on taxes their ordered year?
Jane E. Probst
Jane E. Probst answered on Feb 17, 2021

It depends on the language in the order. It would specifically need to state that they need to be substantially current in the order if they are to lose the deduction for that calendar year.

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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Wisconsin on
Q: There was verbally a document written up by my lawyer to the guardian ad litem, does that document become void after?

The document was so that I would not see my significant other with a questionable past. I am in the middle.of a divorce and it was written up at the request of the guardian ad litem for my children. The person is not a danger to my children but the court knows nothing about his past because it was... Read more »

Jane E. Probst
Jane E. Probst answered on Feb 16, 2021

While a divorce is pending,it is normally considered bad form to introduce the children to a new significant other. If the Guardian ad Litem advised you not to have the children around them, I recommend that you do so, since the GAL's recommendation carries a great deal of weight with the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Wisconsin on
Q: How am I responsible for my child’s medical?

I haven’t seen my son in 2 years because of a retraining order and was told today that my new job received a letter stating I have to cover my sons medical insurance. So now I have to pay child support for a child I don’t see and pay for his medical when his mom already get MA how is that... Read more »

Jane E. Probst
Jane E. Probst answered on Feb 10, 2021

The restraining order does not affect any prior support or medical bill responsibilities set forth in another Order. However, unless the restraining order is against the child, and not just the other parent, you still have placement rights to the child. You should consult with an experienced... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Can a judge court order a psychological assessment in child custody without appointing an assessor?
Jane E. Probst
Jane E. Probst answered on Feb 9, 2021

Yes. The Court may order a psychological assessment, but leave the choice to the agreement of the Counsel or the choice of the Guardian ad Litem.

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody and Child Support for Wisconsin on
Q: (WI) Father still receives child support after abandoning my 14 & 16 year old children for 7 months & going.. What now?

He receives child support for both children.

Jane E. Probst
Jane E. Probst answered on Feb 4, 2021

You need to file a Motion for Modification of Custody and Placement.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Wisconsin on
Q: If my husband & I decide to 50/50 placement am I able to move 20 miles away? I currently have primary placement.

I’m currently & have been a stay at home mom for 5 years & have primary placement. He wants to do 50/50 but his job is extremely demanding...for example this week he was supposed to have dinner with my 2 girls both tues & thurs evening & have them this weekend for 2 overnights. He... Read more »

Jane E. Probst
Jane E. Probst answered on Jan 28, 2021

If you currently have primary physical placement, the current Order is still in full force and effect until modified by a Court Order. If the initial placement Order has been in full force and effect for more than two years, he has to prove that there has been a substantial change of circumstances... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Wisconsin on
Q: My son's mom lied about me being the father to prolong her custody, is there anything I can do
Jane E. Probst
Jane E. Probst answered on Jan 19, 2021

I am sorry, but your question is a unclear. Are you saying you are or are not the father of your son? Or, did she deny that you are the father to delay an adjudication of paternity?

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