– from Fred F. in Polk, WI

Question Details:

When my sister got into trouble a few years ago, she gave me her child to take care of. We did not go to court or anything. I took care of my nephew for about three years. My sister recently came back and was able to care for her child. She took him with the agreement that I would be able to visit him whenever I wanted. But now she says I am “stepping on her toes,” and she won't let me see him. Can I take her to court for visitation rights?

Family Law Attorney Response:

You can. It would be up to the courts to decide whether the visitations are justified. It also depends on how the law is translated during your proceeding.

Learn more about third party custody here.

There was a similar case in F.P.R. v. J.M. (In re Custody of D.M.M.) 137 Wis. 2d 375, 404 N.W.2d 530 (1987) (Reversing 128 Wis. 2d 265, 382 N.W.2d 73 (Ct. App. 1985)). A situation took place where an aunt had informal custody for nearly 6 years. She vied for visitation, only to be denied by the trial court. Upon appeal, she was denied by the court of appeals. However, upon petition of the supreme court, the decision was reversed. This was based on the translation of discussed visitation rights by grandparents and “other parties” being inclusive of family members in your position.

My advice is to contact an experienced family law attorney to discuss your options.

Lawyer Jeff Hughes from Sterling Law Offices, S.C.
Jeff Hughes, J.D.

Managing Partner

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