In most cases, each parent is awarded periods of physical placement of the children. The actual placement arrangement may take one of three basic forms:
- Primary placement—One parent has primary placement of the children. The other parent has periods of placement, which could take the form of every other weekend during the school year plus extra time in the summer. There is also usually an alternating of holidays. This is only an example and many other options can be applied.
- Shared placement—Under Wisconsin law, parents have a shared placement schedule if each parent has at least 25 percent or ninety-two days a year of physical placement with the minor children. The periods of physical placement are determined by calculating the number of overnights of each parent and dividing that number by 365. An example of a shared placement schedule is a 50/50 alternating week schedule.
- Split custody—Occasionally, and for a wide variety of reasons, children are split between the parents. With split custody, the placement schedules are usually set up to have the children together every weekend and for substantial times in the summer. There is a special split custody child-support rule that offsets and nets the child-support obligations of the parents.