50/50 Joint Custody in Wisconsin
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Joint Physical Placement
Joint physical custody (also known as 50/50 placement) refers to where the child is living at a given time as opposed to who has decision-making ability over the child (legal custody). Sometimes referred to as joint physical care, joint physical custody allows the child to frequently live in the home of each parent.
In order for joint physical custody to exist, both parents will need to agree on a placement schedule with the approval of the family courts.
Joint physical custody is an extremely popular custody option because it gives the child much more time with each parent. The goal is to maximize time the child has with each parent. Schedules depends on the parent's work, the relationship they have with their children, and the ages of the children.
Although joint physical custody allows both parents to play equal roles in their child's life, it doesn't necessarily mean exactly 50/50 placement time. The court does not clearly define a required amount of time for each parent to spend with their child, but they want to determine an outcome that's in the child's best interest.
Start Preparing for Co-ParentingGet your WI parenting plan worksheet here. Reviewing this form is a good way to prepare yourself mentally for the conversations you'll need to have regarding your children.
Joint Legal Custody
Joint legal custody is another form of shared parenting, this time with the emphasis being on shared decision making over the child. Examples of decisions parents could make together with joint legal custody include religious upbringing, school system, and extracurricular activities they want their child to participate in. In addition to decision-making, it grants each parent the right to access legal and medical records whenever necessary.
All of the rights for joint legal custody fall under “major decisions.” Simple decisions that come up in the child's day-to-day life, like what to pack for lunch or bedtime, can be made without consulting the other parent. These small, non-major decisions lie in the hands of whichever parent has custody at the time it needs to be made. This includes emergencies, such as a parent needing to take the child to the emergency room.
Wisconsin Child Support Laws for 50 50 Custody
With joint custody, child support is still paid. If a parent has less than 25% placement, that parent will need to pay the other a percentage of his or her gross income. That percentage would be 17% for one child, 25% for two children, and so on. See all standard percentage rates here.
If there's a shared placement schedule in place where both parents have at least 92 days, or a minimum of 25% of placement, then the Wisconsin court uses a shared placement formula. Calculate shared custody child support here.
What Factors Are Considered In Placement
The main thing considered is what's in the best interest of the child. The parents need to be amicable with one another and they should have a realistic parenting plan to present to the court that gives the child regularly occurring meaningful periods of time with each parent. To see all factors, click here to read how Wisconsin courts determine custody.
What is Primary Physical Placement?
Primary placement is awarded to a parent who has the child overnight more than 75% of the time. That parent has full decision making authority over the child, and they would receive the full amount of child support based on Wisconin's standard percentage model. Many people refer to this as “sole custody”.
Are Mothers Favored Over Fathers?
The short answer is no. According to the laws, the Wisconsin court must make custody decisions on the basis of what's in the best interest of the child. Mothers are not favored over fathers in custody matters. Some people are concerned about a mother's rights or fathers rights during divorce and custody, but equal rights are given without regard to the parent's gender.
Examples of Joint Physical Custody Schedules
2-2-3 Rotation (Two week Schedule)
The child lives with Parent A for 2 days, then Parent B for 2 days, then Parent A for 3 days. Once the week is over, the rotation flips. This allows the child to have alternating weekends with the parents.
2-2-5-5 Custody Schedule (Two week Schedule)
The child lives with Parent A for 2 days, then Parent B for 2 days, then Parent A for 5 days, then Parent B for 4 days. This allows the child to be with one parent every Sunday and Monday, and the other every Tuesday and Wednesday with Thursday, Friday, and Saturday alternating.
3-3-4-4 Custody Schedule (Two week Schedule)
The child lives with Parent A for 3 days, then Parent B for 3 days, then Parent A for 4 days, then Parent B for 4 days. With this schedule, the child is with the same parent every Sunday – Tuesday and with the other every Wednesday – Friday. Saturdays are alternating.
4-3 Custody Schedule
The child lives with Parent A for 4 days (weekends and some weekdays) and lives with Parent B for 3 days (weekdays).
Alternating Weeks Custody Schedule (7 on 7 off)
The child lives with Parent A for 7 days, then Parent B for 7 days.
Alternating Weekends Custody Schedule (Every Other Weekend)
The child lives with Parent A and lives with Parent B every other weekend.
This is usually added to the Alternating Weeks schedule so the child doesn't go an entire week without seeing the other parent.
This is usually added to the Alternating Weeks schedule. For example, when the child are staying the week Parent A, the child stays overnight with Parent B one night during the week.
60/40 Custody Schedule
An example is when the child lives with Parent A during the week and lives with Parent B during the weekends. This is similar to the 4-3 schedule, but the 60/40 includes weekends for Parent B.
70/30 Custody Schedule
The most popular version of this schedule is when the child lives with Parent B for a week during every 3rd week. Another version is when the child lives with Parent B every weekend.
75/25 Custody Schedule
The child lives with Parent A for 5 days and lives with Parent B for 2 days per week.
80/20 Custody Schedule
The child lives with Parent A but lives with Parent B 20% of the time. Example schedules include the child visiting Parent B during the 1st, 2nd, & 5th weekend, or visiting during the 2nd, 4th, and 5th weekend.
To find out what works best for you, click here to get a parenting plan worksheet.
References: What Constitutes a Major Decision?
Child Custody Articles & Frequent Questions
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