After a divorce or child custody proceeding in Wisconsin, you should have an order for child custody and for physical placement. Custody refers to your legal right to make decisions on behalf of the child, such as over medical, educational and religious issues. Physical placement refers to the time the child spends with each parent.
You may have come to an agreement on physical placement, laying out the rules and schedule for your parenting time. Or, a court may have made a physical placement order based on the child’s best interests.
In either case, it sometimes occurs that one parent is unable or unwilling to follow through with the order. They may refuse to return the child for parenting by the other party. They may skip periods of physical placement or be consistently late. They may even take the child to another state or another country.
Your physical placement plan is a court order that can be enforced
If this happens, you will need to petition the family court to enforce your placement order through a petition for enforcement of physical placement order. Once your ex has been served court papers, they are required to appear in court and explain whether they have failed to follow the placement order. The hearing will generally occur within 30 days after papers were served on the other party.
The court will listen to both parties and determine if your ex intentionally and unreasonably withheld your child for one or more periods of physical placement. If the court determines that they did, it can issue one of several different orders.
The court might order your ex to grant make-up periods of physical placement, for example, to replace any that were denied or hindered. The court might require that a child be brought back from another state or abroad. It might also award you money or attorney’s fees, so that you aren’t out any money for having to enforce a lawful court order.
Is your ex trying to interfere with your periods of physical placement? Your physical placement agreement was made into a court order upon the conclusion of your divorce or child custody determination and the court has powers to enforce the order.
Contact your experienced family law lawyer for assistance.