One of the major concerns of parents who file for divorce is losing the possibility of spending quality time with their children. If the court did not grant you physical custody of your child, you might feel like it is not enough to see them every other weekend and during the holidays. But nothing is set in stone yet. In Wisconsin, you can ask the court to modify your order by making an effective parenting plan.
When you express your disagreement with the order, the court will ask you and your ex-spouse to attend mediation. A mediator is a neutral third party that will help you and your ex reach a mutual agreement regarding the child’s custody. If mediation does not work, the court will ask each of you to file a parenting plan. Sometimes, the court will not ask for mediation if it will cause undue hardship or endanger one of the parties. In this case, you can file a parenting plan without going to mediation first.
If you have failed to reach an agreement with your ex, you have the right to propose a parenting plan to the court. The parenting plan needs to include the following:
- What legal or physical custody you are seeking
- Where you live now and where you intend to live during the next two years
- Where you work and your employment hours
- Who will care for your child when you are unable to
- Where your child will go to school
- What doctor or medical facility will provide medical care for your child
- What your child’s religious commitment will be
- Who will make decisions about your child’s education, medical care and extracurricular activities
- Which holidays you want to spend with your child
- What your child’s summer schedule will be
- Whether and how your child will contact the other parent when they are with you
- How you propose to resolve disagreements with your ex
You will need to file the parenting plan within 60 days after mediation or after the court declares there is no mediation required. If you don’t send your parenting plan in the appropriate time frame, you will lose the right to challenge your ex’s proposed plan.
An effective parenting plan
You have the right to seek legal help to maximize your possibilities of the court accepting your proposed plan. An experienced attorney can guide you through the process and increase your chances of getting your kids back.