Unfitness in Wisconsin child custody case

Unfitness in Wisconsin child custody case

A Wisconsin child custody case took an interesting turn when the father requested that the child’s care be assumed by the State because neither parent could properly care for him.  In Interest of Luke S. http://www.wicourts.gov/ca/opinion/DisplayDocument.pdf?content=pdf&seqNo=108947, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled that the State could not provide protective services for the child that the parents were not capable of handling themselves.

This case arose from a bitter custody dispute. Usually, parents in a Wisconsin child custody case will simply seek to modify the existing legal custody order.  This father chose a different route, arguing that both he and the mother were essentially unfit to care for the child.  The Court rejected his argument because he had not demonstrated that he had made efforts to provide care, nor that the mother was incapable of doing so.  The question for the Court was not whether the parents were making good choices for the child, but whether they were unable to make choices that the State could.

There must have been more to this case than this short ruling discusses.  This father chose an interesting legal theory, but perhaps tried to be too clever in his argument.

Published by David Kowalski

Attorney David Kowalski is the founding owner of Kowalski, Wilson & Vang, LLC, handling all family law cases from divorce, paternity, child custody, termination of parental rights, restraining orders, and guardianships.

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