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Can I Move With My Child After Divorce?

When parents divorce, they are usually expected to share parenting responsibilities. The children typically reside primarily with one parent, while the other parent has regular visitation. A custodial parent cannot move more than 100 miles away without seeking a court modification. The law changed last year, making legal modification a requirement even for those who are moving within the state of Wisconsin. When you want to move your child’s residence, it is best to seek legal guidance from an experienced family law attorney.

What are the Guidelines for Relocation?

Last year, the Wisconsin governor signed a bill that made changes to the law regarding moving with children following a divorce. Wisconsin law states that the parent seeking to move more than 100 miles from the other parent must file a motion in court. The parent must submit a relocation plan that includes:

  • Reason for the relocation
  • Date of the proposed relocation
  • State and municipality of the new residence
  • Proposed schedule for visitation and holidays
  • Proposed allocation of costs associated with the child’s travel for visitation

The parent must submit a request for a hearing. You must do this even if the other parent agrees to the proposed plan. If you fail to obtain court approval you could end up being accused of taking the child without permission. You must request court permission to move even if you are remaining in the state but are moving further away than 100 miles. Seek guidance from a knowledgeable family law attorney to assist with the legal process.

How Long Does it Take to Obtain Court Permission?

The process must go through the court system, so you should allow some time before you plan to move. The first step is to file a request with the court. The court will assign a hearing date for the matter. If the other parent objects to the move, he or she must file an objection no later than five days before the hearing date. Both parties must attend the initial hearing, which takes place within 30 days of the motion. The judge listens to both parties at the hearing and then makes a determination.

Keep in mind that the court always makes decisions in the best interest of the child. If one parent objects to the move, he or she must follow particular requirements and another hearing will be held, typically within 60 days of the first hearing. In some cases, the court may provide temporary permission for the child to move until the final hearing resolves the matter. The process can take several months or more to resolve in total, if the other parent objects to the move. Therefore, it is best to begin the process as soon as possible.

Moving with a child can be a complex process. You must follow the rules or your request may be denied. Contact our skilled legal team at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. today to discuss your plan to move and to get the legal help you need.

Published May 21, 2019
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