– from David P. in Pewaukee, WI

Question Details:

I am the divorced father of two children. I agreed to let my wife take legal custody of our children, due to school, friends, not having to move, etc. I currently get weekend visitations. The problem is, I still live in the same school district my kids attend and I feel that I should be entitled to more time with them. I want to have them for the same amount of time as my wife. Can I request equal physical custody even if I'm not their legal custodian?

Family Law Attorney Response:

There are many factors to be considered in child custody cases like this,. The courts will look at these factors when making a decision, as well as whether the children will benefit from such a change. They will also look at the ability of the mother to care for the children, and assess whether a change is warranted.

Learn more about the basics of child custody.

Among the many scenarios, one example is found in the case of Westrate v. Westrate 124 Wis. 2d 244, 369 N.W.2d 165 (Ct. App. 1985). In this situation, a father wanted to modify his current visitation schedule to alternating full weeks. The trial court initially granted his request, but the decision was reversed upon appeal. This is because the change was not found to be warranted. More importantly, the trial court did not have the authority to grant equal sole custody while the mother remained the legal custodian.

My advise would be to contact an experienced family law attorney right away to discuss the best possible course of action.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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