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150 miles or 100 miles? Which Wisconsin law applies?

I receive a fair number of phone calls and on line inquiries about what a person is required to do to move away following a divorce. What notice is required? Do I have to file a motion? What reasons do  I need to move? How long will the process take? How much will it cost? While these are all good questions, today’s blog is going to tackle which “removal law” applies, as there was a major change in the law just about one year ago.

  1. The old law.  Before 4/5/18, if  a person wanted to move away with the children, the law required that if moving out of state, or more than 150 miles within the state from the other parent, the parent requesting the move must send a certified letter to the other parent and the court, giving them 60 days advance written notice of their intention to move away. Within that letter, the details of the move need to be provided, along with giving the other parent their legal notice of the right to object within 15 days. Generally speaking, if the other person filed an objection within the 15 day time frame, you could not move away, until a hearing was conducted and the court determined whether the move should be allowed or not.
  2. The new law. Effective 4/5/18, for any new cases filed after that date or for any cases that pre-date 4/5/18, where custody or placement are modified after the effective date of the law, the new law requires a parent desirous of wanting to move away more than 100 miles from the other parent (whether within the state or not), to file a motion with the court and request permission of the court to move away. Unlike the old law, the burden is now on the person requesting to move away to file the motion with the court.

So, which law applies? For cases that pre-date 4/5/18, whether from a divorce or paternity case, the old law applies. For any new cases filed AFTER 4/5/18, the new law clearly applies. For any old cases that pre-date 4/5/18, if there is an amendment to custody or placement after 4/5/18, once that occurs, the new law clearly applies after that to any request to move away more than 100 miles from the other parent.

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