Parents of a child may live apart because of divorce, separation or the fact that they never married each other and broke up. A parent with physical custody might want to move and take their son or daughter with them. This might be motivated by a job change, family crisis or educational opportunity. Wisconsin requires court approval of some parental relocations to protect the noncustodial parent’s relationship with the child. At Hart Law Office in Milwaukee, we understand how to navigate the parental relocation approval process on behalf of our clients, whether they are seeking to move or are objecting to the relocation.
The relocation law in Wisconsin changed a few years ago. Some families will have to follow the old law while others have to comply with the new law. Under the current law, in general, if both parents live within 100 miles of each other and both parents have periods of physical placement of a child, a parent will need the court’s permission to relocate more than 100 miles away. Should you plan to move with your child, we can review your situation and determine if you need to file a motion for relocation. In the event you only need to provide notice, we can prepare the necessary documents.
When you file a motion to relocate, the court schedules an initial hearing in about 30 days. If the other parent, after receiving proper notice, doesn’t appear at the hearing to object, the court will approve the relocation unless it finds that the move isn’t in the child’s best interest. If the respondent parent does object, the court will often order mediation of the dispute and schedule a new hearing within 60 days. Depending on the circumstances, the move might be permitted on a temporary basis until the issue is fully resolved.
Once the judge makes a determination, the order addressing custody and placement could be modified to account for the change in circumstances. Even if the relocation is not granted, placement could be changed. Our experienced family law attorneys can explain this procedure in more detail and will vigorously represent you throughout the proceeding, whether you are the moving party or the objector.
If the relocation has minimal effect on the child’s ability to spend time with each parent, the court will often approve relocation. Otherwise, it will apply the same “best interests” standard used for any child custody decision. Relocation is presumed to be appropriate if the objector hasn’t exercised their court-ordered custodial or placement rights. After reviewing the pertinent circumstances, our firm will work to develop the strongest argument in support of your position. Domestic violence also plays a role in whether a court will approve or not allow a relocation.
Hart Law Office in Milwaukee helps Wisconsin clients obtain or contest parental relocations. Please call 414-271-1775 or contact us online for a free initial consultation. We can accommodate clients who need a weekend or evening appointment.
Q: What is a divorce?
A: A divorce is the legal termination of marriage. All states require a spouse to identify a legal reason for requesting a divorce when filing the divorce papers with the court. The reasons given when filing are referred to as the grounds for divorce.Read More ›