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Custody and Placement Attorneys in Madison & Milwaukee

Helping Wisconsin Parents Gain and Maintain Custody and/or Placement of Their Children

In any Wisconsin divorce or paternity matter, the court must make decisions about the custody and placement of the minor child or children. This involves the application of the factors found in Wisconsin Statutes, Section 767.41.


Custody is major decision making, such as where the child will go to school, what kind of medical care the child will receive, and in what religion the child will be raised, if any. There is a presumption that both parents have the right to make these decisions, but the court may consider certain factors and order all or some decisions be made solely by one parent.


Placement determines where the child spends his or her days and nights. This can be primarily with one parent, or shared, either partially or equally. Many considerations go into this decision, such as:

  • the preferences of the parties and child
  • the adjustment of the child to school and home
  • the health of the parties and child, both physically and psychologically,
  • the history of child rearing, and
  • the accommodations a parent makes to spend more time with the child.

Domestic violence may also come into play when the court decides both custody and placement.

Mediation First, Followed by Court When Necessary

Generally, parents first try to come to an agreement themselves or through mediation. If they are unsuccessful, some counties provide social workers to do a home study and make recommendations. For these disputes, the court must also appoint an attorney called a guardian ad litem to represent the best interests of the child.

If you have a custody and/or placement dispute and need representation, please contact Attorneys Katherine L. Charlton or Amy L. Shapiro at our Milwaukee office at 414-271-8650, Attorney Lynn Lodahl at our Madison office at 608-257-0040 or contact us through our website form to set up a case evaluation.