Differences between visitation and custody in Wisconsin | Sterling Law Offices, S.C. global $post;
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– from Eugene C. in Wales, WI

Question Details:

My wife and I will most likely go through a divorce and I have a strong feeling I will be awarded full custody. However, our daughter should still be able to see her mom. What is the major difference between visitation rights and custody rights?

Family Law Attorney Response:

“Thank you for your question. In the case Westrate v. Westrate, 124 Wis.2d 244, 369 N.W.2d 165 (Ct. App. 1985), the difference between visitation and custody rights was explained thoroughly.

Visitation refers to the noncustodial parent’s right of access to a child. While the noncustodial parent is responsible for the care of the child during visits, visitation differs from custody because the noncustodial parent and child do not live together as a single-family unit. The custodial parent is responsible for the major decisions in a child’s life. This includes where the child goes to school, goes to church, goes to the doctor, etc.

Click here to learn more about how paternity affects child custody.

Visitation can be limited or liberal, based off what is the best interest of the child. Limited visitation refers to how the parents share time with the child limiting it to exactly what was drawn up in the custody and placement agreement. Liberal visitation is different, the parents still have specific times they are supposed to see the child, but they share the child more liberally allowing each other to see the child as often as they want.

If you have any more questions or are looking for a family attorney to represent you in the divorce, give me a call.”


Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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