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What is the difference between visitation and custody?

The difference between custody and visitation rights in Wisconsin is one of the most misunderstood topics in family law in the state. If you do not understand it right away, that is completely normal. However, if you were going through a divorce, this would be an important point on which to educate yourself.

The future of your children would likely be among the primary concerns in your divorce case. Your abilities to reflect on your current schedule with your child and assess your future availability for family time could both help you create an informed request for visitation and custody. If you feel this is too daunting of a task to perform alone, you could ask a family member or a trusted advisor to help you.

The court divides the agreements regarding your children into two sections. Custody refers to the right you or your former partner has to make major life decisions on behalf of your child. Visitation, on the other hand, refers to the scheduled time each of you may spend with your child.

These two seemingly simple categories often give rise to many complications throughout the divorce process. It is often essential to maintain a steady vision of the future you want for your child in order to secure the best possible outcome for everyone involved.

For further information about child custody and visitation, you could visit the Wisconsin State Law Library's section on children and divorce. However, please keep in mind that many of these resources are highly technical. Rules change all the time, so please do not take any of this as legal advice. It is only meant as basic information.

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