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Madison's Best Child Custody Attorneys

Child custody is a very difficult part of divorces. Legal custody and physical custody are the two main factors in child custody cases. Legal custody is the right given to parents to make important decisions about their child. Physical custody refers to the right and duty to provide housing and care for the child. Physical custody is referred to as “placement” under Wisconsin Law. Primary placement is defined by one parent having physical placement of their child more than 75% of the days in a year. The two most common types of custody agreements are joint custody and sole legal custody. Divergent Family Law will protect your parental rights in any custody dispute.

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At Divergent Family Law, there are no hidden fees, we're upfront about the cost of our legal services. We offer flat fee rates so there's no excess worry in an already stressful situation. Get a free initial consultation to find your real quote on Madison's top child custody lawyer service. 



Joint Legal


Joint custody means both parents share legal custody, and neither party has more power unless specified otherwise in the final order. 50-50 placement is the typical joint custody arrangement. Wisconsin law has a preference towards joint custody. In this case, both parties need to work together to make important decisions for their child(ren). These important decisions include, but are not limited to, schooling, religion, marriage as a minor, and joining the military as a minor.


Glendale, WI child custody lawyer

Sole Legal


Sole custody is a much harder verdict to receive in court. Wisconsin law prefers to maintain joint custody in the best interest of the child. Receiving sole custody is possible if the other parent is deemed unfit or if both parents cannot agree on major life decisions about their children. In the case of the parents being unmarried when the child is born, it is initially assumed the mother has sole custody. The party without custody may be required to pay child support and may be granted visitation rights. Once a paternity action has been established, the custody may change. Different Father's rights may apply to unmarried fathers and divorced fathers. 


Mediation for Child

placement & custody

Mediation is useful when parents need help reaching a joint decision. To avoid the courthouse, our family attorneys can mediate a compromise of both parties. If no decision is reached, the court may appoint a Guardian ad Litem to represent the best interest of the children while the case is pending.


Post-Judgement Child Custody & Placement Modification in Madison

Situations change for a variety of reasons after the initial verdict. Living locations change. Children attend different schools. Wisconsin divorce law provides modified placement schedules under certain circumstances. To make any placement arrangement the most positive it can be for your child, we encourage exploring our co-parenting resources.  




File for divorce in Madison 

 Dane County Courthouse
215 S Hamilton St., Madison, WI 53703, United States 
Courthouse: (608) 266-4311




Wisconsin Child Support


Understanding child support payments is important. Child support payments may total over $100,000. For a rough estimate on what you may pay or receive, here is our child support calculator.

Our Madison child custody lawyers can assist you in any situation you face. To accommodate any financial situation, we offer flexible payment plans.

Other services from our Madison divorce attorneys

We provide additional family law services including:

Divergent Family Law provides the most exceptional family attorneys across South Eastern Wisconsin. Contact our firms in Milwaukee, GlendaleAppleton, Madison, & Brookfield





Madison Child Custody FAQs

How do I get full custody of my child in Madison, WI?

You could be granted full custody of your child if both parents agree one parent should have full custody. The court may decide to give full custody to one parent if the other is unable to perform their parental duties or are unwilling to take part in raising their child. Sometimes full custody is granted when parents are unable to agree on co-parenting terms.

How is child custody determined in Madison, WI?

Child custody in Madison and throughout Wisconsin is based off "best interests of the child" standards. The final decision for child custody in Wisconsin is determined by the judge. Some form of joint custody is almost always preferred unless one party is unable or unwilling to perform their parental duties.

Who has legal custody of a child when the parents aren't married?

According to Wisconsin law, if a child's parents are not married, the mother has full sole custody of the child until the court decides otherwise.




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Wisconsin Family Law & Divorce Attorneys:
Family Law Attorney Trisha Festerling
Trisha FesterlingAttorney
Family Law Attorney Joseph Kennedy
Joseph KennedyAttorney
Family Law Attorney Kaitlin Grasswick
Kaitlin GrasswickAttorney
Family Law Attorney Kira Visser
Kira VisserAttorney
Family Law Attorney Tom Grieve
Tom GrieveAttorney
Divergent Family Law Attorney Adam Kachelski
Adam KachelskiAttorney
Divergent Family Law Attorney Stephannie Guzy
Stephannie GuzyAttorney
Divergent Family Law Attorney Corey Montiho
Corey MontihoAttorney
Divergent Family Law Attorney Jeremy Chavez
Jeremy ChavezAttorney
Divergent Family Law Attorney Claire Dalle Molle
Claire Dalle MolleAttorney
Divergent Family Law Attorney Hayley Hetherington
Hayley HetheringtonAttorney
Divergent Family Law Attorney Madeline Schlederer
Madeline SchledererAttorney
Divergent Family Law Attorney Abby Buchanan
Abby BuchananAttorney
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