Once a motion is filed, the court will have an initial appearance with the parties. At this hearing, the court can provide temporary orders which will be in place while the motion is pending. Commonly, the parties will be ordered to attend mediation. Mediation is a confidential problem-solving process where a neutral third party mediator assists individuals in clearly defining the specific issues at hand and reaching an agreement. Participation is mandatory if it is ordered by the judge. Once an order is signed by the judge or commissioner, it will be mailed out to the parties along with further instructions. If an agreement cannot be reached through mediation, the parties will go back to court for additional hearings.
Guardian ad Litem
If the parties are at odds with respect to the child's best interest, the court will appoint a Guardian ad Litem to represent the best interests of the child. The Guardian ad Litem will investigate and ultimately make a recommendation to the court. The Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is an advocate for the best interests of a minor child in regard to paternity, legal custody, physical placement, and child support. A Guardian ad Litem is a licensed Wisconsin attorney who undergoes special training by the court. A Guardian ad Litem does not “work for” either party nor the children.