Sole Custody in Wisconsin
Sole custody orders protect a child when the best interests of a child exclude one parent
This is a pretty straightforward form of child custody. Sole custody gives legal and physical placement exclusively to one parent. While one parent may have sole custody rights to the child, it does not mean the other parent is completely excluded from the child’s life, but it typically means one parent’s role in a child’s life is significantly diminished. Visitation can still be arranged with the parent and child, however, that parent will not have any physical or legal rights for the child.
This typically this occurs when substance abuse or mental health issues prevent a parent from fully engaging with a child. There are instances when neither substance abuse or mental health issues create sole custody, such as a parent moving out of state, but it is rarer for one parent to have sole legal custody of a child. Sole physical placement is more common if sole custody is part of an order.
Sole custody was used more in the past than it is today. Joint custody has been gaining traction while sole custody continues to trend downward. This is due in part because the courts take the position that the best interest of a child, in general, is involvement from both parents. When a court is required to make a decision on custody, due to parents not working together, they weigh everything against “the best interest of the child” standard.
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