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Review of Wisconsin’s Parental Relocation Statutes

D'Angelo & Grabow, LLP June 26, 2019

Like other states, Wisconsin has rules that parents must follow if they are subject to a child custody order and they want to move. Specifically, if a parent has primary physical custody of her child, meaning the child lives with her most of the time, then she will have to file a request for permission to move is she wishes to relocate more than 100 miles from the other parent.

This rule does not apply if the two parents already live more than 100 miles from each other, in which case the parent with primary custody need only provide advance notice to the other parent approximately two months in advance of the move. This notice must provide the other parent with her child’s new address.

A parent filing a motion requesting permission to move will need to include several specific details, including a new parenting time schedule, as well as a provision for who is going to pay what costs of transportation. The other parent will have the opportunity to object to the move, and an objection would obviously complicate the moving parent’s plans. However, even if the other parent does not object, it is still up to the court to decide whether a move is in the child’s best interests.

In addition to other factors, the court will consider whether the other parent has been exercising parenting time that she will effectively lose because of the relocation. Additionally, the court will also ask whether the parent wanting to move is doing so due to abuse at the hands of the other parent.

Many residents of Waukesha and the other Milwaukee suburbs may have to leave the area for any number of legitimate reasons. If they do so, however, they must remember that if they have custody of their children, they must follow Wisconsin’s relocation laws. Having the help of a child custody and support attorney in doing so could be important.