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Sheboygan Guardianship Attorney

Deciding how your family will be restructured to best meet the needs of your children during and after divorce or upon a court determination of paternity is perhaps the most important decision you, as a parent, will make. Legal custody, physical placement and child support issues must be decided to ensure that your children’s needs continue to be met.

  • “Legal custody” means making major decisions affecting your children such as medical care, education and religion.
  • “Physical placement” means the amount of time your children will spend with each parent.
  • “Child support” means providing for your children’s financial needs.

If parents have disagreements, they must participate in mediation to help them resolve issues. If parents still don’t agree, the court will appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) to assist the court in making custody, placement and support decisions.

What is a guardian ad litem (GAL)?

​A GAL is an attorney, licensed to practice law in Wisconsin. The GAL’s role is to represent the best interests of the children as determined by the GAL through an investigation. The GAL will investigate the facts, participate in negotiations, and take a position in court on legal custody and placement. At Kaplan Law Firm, S.C., our attorney can help you with guardianship issues involving a GAL.
The GAL is also involved in the financial issues of a case when those issues affect the children such as child support and child expenses. The GAL does not have any of the rights or duties of a parent or general guardian. Although the GAL may be incorrectly referred to as the children’s attorney, the GAL’s role is to advocate for the best interests of the children. This may not be the same as advocating for what the children want.

What factors does the GAL consider in the investigation?

In investigating and developing input for the court’s consideration, the GAL must consider the following legal factors:

  • The wishes of your child and both parents
  • Whether a parent has engaged in a pattern or serious incident of violence between parents
  • The safety and well-being of the child and the safety of the parent who was the victim of the battery or abuse
  • Your child’s interaction and relationship with you and other family members
  • The amount and quality of time you have spent with your child in the past
  • Any necessary and reasonable custodial and lifestyle changes you propose to make to spend time with your child in the future
  • Your child’s adjustment to home, school, religion and community
  • Your child’s age and developmental and educational needs at various ages
  • The mental or physical health of a parent, the child or other person living in the proposed custodial household
  • The need for regularly occurring and meaningful placement to provide predictability and stability for your child
  • The availability of child care services
  • The cooperation and communication between parents and whether either one unreasonably refuses to cooperate or communicate with the other
  • Each parent’s ability to support the other parent’s relationship with the child and the likelihood a parent will interfere in the other parent’s continuing relationship with the child
  • Any physical abuse or problems with alcohol or drugs
  • The reports of appropriate professionals
  • Other significant factors that would affect your child’s well-being

Contact Us

Our lawyer can assist with your guardianship issues. Call our Sheboygan office at (262)-241-5297 or use our online contact form.