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New Child Custody Law in Wisconsin and What It Means for You

By John Anthony Ward on September 10, 2018


Signing papers in an officeDivorces can be difficult, though they don’t always have to be. By working with a skilled attorney like John Anthony Ward, you can feel confident that someone is looking out for you and your best interests. He’s helped countless people in the greater area Kenosha, WI area with their family law needs.

Though you may not be aware of it, a new child custody law has gone into effect this year. It will have a major impact on people who want to relocate/move as well as one former spouses who are staying put. Let’s break down the basics of this new child custody law and what it means for you and your child.

The New Child Custody Move/Relocation Law

Signed into law by Governor Scott Walker, Section 767.481, Wisconsin Stats. applies to all legal custody and child custody cases that commenced on or after April 5, 2018. The law applies to a parent who is relocating more than 100 miles away from the previous parent. In essence, it is now more difficult to move with your child out of state.

We will provide some details on changes to this process in a moment. Please note that the above law does not apply to parents who already live more than 100 miles away from the other parent.

The Previous Laws on Moving/Relocation

The previous relocation laws applied to parents who wanted to relocate out of state or more than 150 mies away from the other parent. Previously a parent only needed to mail a notice of the intent to move and wait for the objection period to pass.

What a Relocating Parent Must Provide to the Court

With the new child custody law, a parent who seeks to relocate with their child must file a motion with the court that includes the following information:

  • The proposed date of the relocation
  • The proposed new municipality and/or state of residence
  • The reason for the parent's relocation
  • A proposed new child placement schedule for school, holidays, and so forth
  • The cost and responsibilities of each parent to address the new child placement schedule

The Other Spouse Can Still Object to the Relocation

Within 30 days of the above motion being filed, both parents will attend a court hearing to discuss the proposed move. The other parent can object to the relocation so long as that objection comes within 5 days of the court hearing.

How a Family Law Attorney Can Help

These changes to existing child custody and relocation laws will likely throw people for a loop in the coming months. Having a skilled attorney to help with you family law matters will allow you to understand the nature of these new statutes and how they apply to your situation. In essence, a skilled child custody lawyer provides much needed peace of mind as well as an objective view of the situation that will help in mediation when necessary.

Contact John Anthony Ward, LLC

To learn more about your legal options in a divorce and how these new child custody laws can work for or against you, be sure to contact an experienced family law attorney. Our law firm is here to provide expert advice and counsel. You can also contact us by phone at (262) 671-8692.

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