After parents divorce, circumstances can change in a custodial parent’s life which may result in a relocation. Many states, including Wisconsin, require that a parent planning a move notify the other parent of their intention to relocate with a child. A Wisconsin parent cannot simply leave with their child if the child is subject to a custody order.
There are procedures that a parent must follow if he or she wants to move with a child and there are measures a non-relocating parent can take if they object to the move. The laws are complex when it comes to the relocation of a child when custody and visitation are an issue, so it is recommended that parents work with an experienced child custody lawyer.
Can I move out of state with my child after my divorce?
A parent may wish to relocate with their children after a divorce for various reasons such as moving closer to extended family or to pursue employment. The child relocation process requires that the parent notify the other parent if he or she wishes to:
- move to a different state
- move within the state at a distance greater than 149 miles, or
- plans to take the child outside of Wisconsin for an extended period of time
The written notice must be provided to the non-relocating parent at least 60 days prior to the move.
If the non-locating parent is not favorable to the move, they must provide a written objection upon receiving the relocation notice. The relocating parent must resolve the dispute before proceeding with the move, which will likely result in a court hearing if an agreement cannot be reached.
Wisconsin Child Custody Modifications
With the child’s best interests as a guiding principle, the court may move to modify an existing child custody and visitation order to ensure that the non-relocating parent can maintain a relationship with the child or they may prohibit the relocation altogether if it is not in the child’s best interests.
The court will undoubtedly examine the reason behind the move. For example, the court will want to make sure that the moving parent is not planning to relocate simply to undermine the child’s relationship with the other parent and is, instead, moving for valid reason such as employment.
The court will also look at factors that directly impact the child such as the the child’s relationship with each parent and their extended family where they currently reside and how the relocation will affect the child’s development and quality of life looking at factors such as proximity to family members, neighborhoods, educational opportunities and resources available to them in the new location.
Contact Our Experienced Child Custody Lawyers in Waukesha
If you are a divorced parent considering moving to a new location with your child and would like more information regarding child relocation laws in Wisconsin or if you have been notified of your ex-spouse’s intention to relocate and want to know your rights, contact the Waukesha Family Law offices of Jane Probst for more information.
Wisconsin child relocation is seldom a black and white issue, which makes it absolutely critical that you work with an experienced attorney on this important child custody issue whether you are the one who wants to relocate or are a parent who does not consent. Call our offices today at (414) 210-3135.