Wisconsin law (Wis. Stat. § 767.481 Relocating a child’s residence) requires divorced parents to get court approval before a child relocation moves a child more than 100 miles away from the other parent unless both parents agree to the terms of the relocation and whether the relocation is in the child’s best interests. Instances where the court might deny a parent’s request largely depends on whether a child will be able to maintain a meaningful relationship with both parents – presumably something that is in the child’s best interest – and it is not unnecessarily disruptive to other aspects of the child’s life.
So even if the parents agree to the move and are able to come up with a viable plan so the child can continue a relationship with both, the court can consider whether the relocation is in the child’s best interest by considering additional factors such as the child’s preferences and needs, their physical and mental health, and their ties to their home school and community where they currently live. This should prompt parents to consider whether relocation is necessary, and if the move is beneficial to their child, and plan to bring their findings to the court.
Of course, sometimes relocation is unavoidable often because one parent has found employment out-of-state or at a more distant location. Other times one parent may wish to relocate with the children to be closer to their family for needed support. Despite the geographical distance, it can be argued that a well-paying job is in the best interests of a child who will benefit from more resources, or, that being closer to supportive may also be in the child’s best interest especially after a divorce. It is important to weigh the pros and cons of a relocation to decide what is best for the child.
Child relocation is not a simple child custody issue, which makes it critical that you work with an experienced child relocation attorney. Whether you are the parent who is relocating or are a parent who does not consent to the child relocation, contact our family law offices immediately at 414 210-3135 for a free consultation.