Under Wis. Stat. 767.481, removal laws applied when one parent intended to establish a residence with a minor child outside of the state of Wisconsin or more than 150 miles within the state from the residence of the other party. The new Act applies the removal statutes when a parent intends to relocate and establish a residence with a minor child more than 100 miles away from the residence of the other party.
The legal process of moving with a minor child 100 miles away has also dramatically changed. Gone are the days of mailing notice of the intent to move and allowing for an objection period as stated under the previous removal statutes. Now if a parent intends to move, the parent shall file a formal motion with the court seeking permission for the child’s relocation. This motion shall include several things: a relocation plan stating the date of the proposed relocation, the municipality and state of the proposed new residence, the reason for the relocation, a proposed new placement schedule if applicable, and the proposed responsibility for the costs for each parent for transportation of the minor child. The motion shall also include a request for a change in legal custody if applicable.
If the non-moving parent objects to the move, he/she must file and serve, no later than five days before the initial hearing, an objection to the relocation and any alternate proposal, including a modification of physical placement or legal custody.
There are also new legal standards for deciding relocation motions. The court will still consider each of the custody and placement factors under Wis. Stat. 767.41(5); however, now the court shall approve the proposed relocation if the proposed relocation only minimally changes or affects the current placement schedule or does not affect or change the current placement schedule. There is also now a presumption that the court should approve the plan of the parent proposing the relocation if the court determines that the objecting parent has not significantly exercised placement. The movant bears the burden of proof in a contested relocation motion. If the presumption to approve the plan exists, then the parent objecting to the relocation shall have the burden of proof in demonstrating the proposed relocation is not in the child’s best interest.
Matters relating to children can be very emotional. A skilled and experienced attorney, such as the lawyers at Anderson & Anderson Law Office, S.C., can help you through the difficulties of such matters. If you have questions regarding how the new child removal act affects your case, please contact our office and schedule an appointment with one of our skilled family law attorneys.
To see the entire 2017 Wisconsin Act 203, please follow this link: