In separation cases, the court usually orders not only for the dissolution of the marriage but it also settles the legal issues involving the children. These final orders contain adjudication as to who among the parents is entitled to legal and physical custody.
Legal custody refers to the right and responsibility of a custodial parent to decide as to how the child will be raised which includes decisions concerning the latter’s education, religion, medical care and other important aspects in the child’s life. On the other hand, physical custody refers to a parent’s right to have the child live with him or her physically. In some decisions of the court with family law attorneys in Milwaukee, physical custody may be granted solely or jointly. For the non-custodial parent, the judge gives him visitation rights.
While the orders of the court are considered as final and executory, there is nothing in the law that prevents its modification. When there are proper grounds, the court may change the child custody visitation order of a parent. This is only possible when substantial changes in the facts and circumstances of the case are evident. In these types of cases, the child’s welfare and best interest are taken into consideration. All acts of the court must be done in line with the objective of keeping the child safe and protected.
The court may, in its own initiative, order for the change of the order. Another instance wherein a post-modification of an order is allowed is when one of the parents files a motion praying for such. The said parent must present evidence to show to the court that his or her motion should be granted. The parent must have a valid ground before the court will rule in his or her favor.
There are many factors that may affect how the judge will rule in the case. One of the most common factors is the safe environment of the child. The court will ask the question as to who among the parents will be able to raise the child well in a safe and loving environment. If there is a history of violence or harm inflicted by a parent, there is a high tendency that the court will not rule in his or her favor. Any order of the court must not be prejudicial to the interest of the child involved. The age of the child will also be taken into consideration before the court issues a post-modification order.