Parents have many different decisions that they need to make for their children as they raise them. These decisions involve day to day decisions such as what the children will eat or what they will wear depending on their age. Parents also have to make major decisions such as what school they will go to, which medical procedures the children will go through, what activities they will participate in and other major decisions.
These decisions are usually decisions that are made together when the parents are together, but if they are divorced making these decisions together could be very difficult. Parents may not agree on many things about how to raise their children, but these decisions still need to be made. In these types of situations, the court will need to decide which parent will receive legal custody of the children, which determines which parent will make the major decision.
In making this decision the court will determine what is in the children’s best interest by analyzing a number of factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, the child’s relationship with the parents and siblings; how much time each parent spent with the child during the marriage, the wishes of the child; the child’s educational needs and other special needs; the child’s familiarity with the school or community they are in; the parent’s ability to communicate with each other; whether there has been any physical abuse in either parent’s home; whether there are drug or alcohol abuse issues and many others.
There are many parents in Wisconsin who divorce and end their relationship. However, this does not mean that either parent ceases to be the parent of their children. If the parents are unable to reach agreements on how they will continue to parent their children, the court will need to decide which parent will continue to make the decisions. These are very fact-specific cases and an experienced attorney may be able to guide one throughout the process.