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Guardianship is a legal relationship between a person who has been adjudicated to be unable to make decision on his or her own behalf and a person appointed by a court to make those decisions. The guardian is often called a "guardian of the person". The guardian can be of the ward or of the ward's estate.

Grandparent provision in Guardianship statutes

In a situation where one of the child's parent dies, a grandparent or stepparent can petition the court for visitation with the child under the guardianship statutes. The request will be granted only if the parties have notice, there has been a hearing and the court finds that visitation is in the child's best interest. Whenever possible, the court shall consider the wishes of the minor, but this does not mean the child will testify. The court has enforcement powers to see that an order for visitation under this statute is honored. This section of the statues applies to every minor in the state of Wisconsin whose parent or parents are deceased, no matter the date of the death(s).

Guardian ad Litem

Guardian Ad Litem - called GAL's - are attorneys. Under Wisconsin law, Gal's must be licensed to practice in the state of Wisconsin. The role of a GAL in a Divorce is to represent and protect the rights of a child or children of the marriage. Generally the GAL is appointed to represent the best interests of the children of the parties. On rare occasions, a Guardian ad Litem can be appointed to represent the best interests of an adult who has not been adjudicated incompetent. Seek the advice of your family law attorney in cases where you believe your spouse needs a guardian due to medical illness, accident or the incidents of aging. Guardians ad litem are appointed in contested custody or placement matters and are sometimes appointed in post-judgment placement or custody modification actions. The guardian ad litem represents the best interests of the child, not necessarily what the child wants. A frequent question people ask is at what age is the child entitled to make his or her own decisions about where he or she wants to live. Answer: age 18.

The court will order who pays for the guardian ad litem, but generally the parties split the cost equally or the cost is ordered to be paid out of marital assets.

In some counties, a guardian ad litem may be appointed prior to referral to a case study with the family court counseling service, but often the referral is made at the same time as the GAL is appointed. The GAL is not a witness, so often the GAL will do interviews only in the presence of the family court counselor or social worker appointed to do the custody study. In most cases, the GAL and the family court counselor work together to issue a recommendation on the contested custody and/or placement matters. As a general rule, it is an uphill burden to persuade a court to deviate much from the recommendation of the GAL and the family court counselor if they have been thorough in interviewing the parties, their collateral witnesses, the children and the persons, institutions and organizations in which the children are involved.

Attorney Kathleen Reiley - GAL

Attorney Kathleen Reiley handled many guardianships and served as a GAL in the past.

For more information about guardianships and Gal's, call Attorney Kathleen Reiley (414-369-6309) or send Kathleen Reiley an email.

Wisconsin State Licensed Attorney:

Attorney Kathleen (Kathy) Reiley exclusively practices law in the state of Wisconsin.

Practice Focus on Divorce and Family Law:

Attorney Reiley focuses her law practice in the area of family law, handling legal separation, Divorce, cohabitation, same sex marriages and divorces, child custody, legal custody, physical placement of minor children, child support, spousal support, paternity, marital property issues, and guardianships.

Divorce Trial Litigation and Divorce Mediation:

With more than thirty years of experience in family law, Attorney Reiley has also participated in the Dane County Bar Association Mediation Project since its inception. Attorney Reiley offers mediation services and divorce mediation, as well as collaborative divorce, cooperative divorce, contested divorce, litigated trial divorce, stipulated divorce, uncontested divorce, divorce of elderly spouses, spousal support (alimony), extensive real estate matters involved in divorce, post divorce modifications and actions, and child support modifications.


Kathleen Reiley, SC
Reiley Law Offices
7161 N Port Washington Road, Suite B
Milwaukee (Glendale), Wisconsin 53217
Telephone: (414) 369-6309
Website: ReileyLaw.com

Regular Business Hours:

Monday - Friday: 8 AM - 5 PM

Geographic Focus:

Attorney Reiley most frequently represents people in Sheboygan, Washington, Ozaukee, Waukesha and Milwaukee County, Wisconsin


Bayside, Brown Deer, Cudahy, Fox Point, Franklin, Glendale, Greendale, Greenfield, Hales Corners, Milwaukee, Oak Creek, River Hills, Shorewood, South Milwaukee, and Saint Francis, & Wisconsin.


Bayside, Belgium, Cedarburg, Fredonia, Grafton, Mequon, Newburg, Port Washington, Saukville, Thiensville, & Waubeka, Wisconsin.


Sheboygan, Elkhart Lake, Cedar Grove, Waldo, Gibbsville, Sheboygan Falls, Oostburg, Adell, Cascade, Plymouth, Howards Grove, Glenbeulah, Mosel, Kohler, Random Lake, Greenbush, and Hingham, Wisconsin.


Allenton, Germantown, Hartford, Jackson, Kewaskum, Newburg, Richfield, Slinger, & West Bend, Wisconsin.


Big bed, Brookfield, Butler, Chenequa, Delafield, Dousman, Eagle, Elm Grove, Hartland, Lac La Belle, Lannon, Menomonee Falls, Merton, Mukwonago, Muskego, Nashotah, New Berlin, North Prairie, Oconomowoc, Oconomowoc Lake, Okauchee Lake, Pewaukee, Summit Village, Sussex, Wales, & Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Call Milwaukee Divorce Attorney Reiley Today:

To speak with Attorney Reiley regarding your situation, please call (414-369-6309) her or send her an email.

Kathleen Reiley, S.C.
7161 North Port Washington Road, Suite B
Milwaukee (Glendale), Wisconsin, 53217

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 170364
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53217

Located in North Milwaukee in the Glendale community.
Attorney Reiley's practice reaches across Milwaukee County and into surrounding Jefferson, Ozaukee, Waukesha, Racine and Kenosha counties.