Custody and Visitation Time With Children

A decision is near from the Wisconsin Supreme Court on the interpretation of the word "maximize" in thier custody statute. While Michigan does not use the word "maximize" in their Child Custody Act, the roughly analogous clause is highlighted in red below:

MCL 722.27a - Parenting Time
(1) Parenting time shall be granted in accordance with the best interests of the child. It is presumed to be in the best interests of a child for the child to have a strong relationship with both of his or her parents. Except as otherwise provided in this section, parenting time shall be granted to a parent in a frequency, duration, and type reasonably calculated to promote a strong relationship between the child and the parent granted parenting time.
In both states the issue of the amount of parenting time (Wisconsin's term is placement) may be analyzed as to what the various words and clauses mean and if they are mandatory or hortatory. There may be much to learn from reading the petition and briefs, listening to the oral argument and the opinion which is due shortly.
Wisconsin Law Journal: Supreme Court Takes Up Placement Issue In Landwehr Case

By Gregg Herman
Feb. 8, 2006
On Dec. 13, 2005, the Wisconsin Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Landwehr v. Landwehr, 2003AP2555, a case presenting the issue of the proper standard of review when determining a motion to modify physical placement. Letís hope the high court relies heavily upon a recent court of appeals opinion before rendering its decision in this case.
Landwehr focuses squarely on two statutes that seem to conflict. The pre-judgment statute, Wis. Stat. ß 767.24(4)(a)(2), requires a court to set a placement schedule that maximizes the amount of time a child spends with each parent. Meanwhile, the post-judgment statute, Wis. Stat. 767.325(1)(b)2, presumes that the current allocation of physical placement is in the best interest of a child.
Landwehr v Landwehr Petition and Briefs
Landwehr Oral Argument (Requires Windows Media)