What is a Child Relocation?
We live in a mobile society. According to data provided by The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, more than 40 percent of U.S. adults live in a different state than the one that they were born in. Moving is common—you may want to relocate for family, a job opportunity, or simply a change of scenario. However, if a parent of a young child is divorced or separated in Wisconsin, there are laws in place that could affect your ability to relocate.
An Overview of Wisconsin’s Child Relocation Laws
Child relocation cases in Wisconsin are subject to Wis. Stat. § 767.481. To be clear, this statute does not apply to every situation in which a parent wants to move to a new house. Instead, the Wisconsin child relocation law only applies when the following two key conditions are implicated:
- Joint Parenting: Under Wis. Stat. § 767.481, the relocation law only applies to divorced or separated parents who live in a situation where there are “any periods of physical placement with a child to both parents.” In other words, the child relocation law may apply if the child lives with both parents at least some point during the year—even if one parent only has physical placement for a few days per month or less.
- Relocation of 100 Miles or more: Under Wis. Stat. § 767.481, not every parental move qualifies as a “relocation.” Instead, the statute only applies if the parent who is moving “intends to relocate and reside with the child 100 miles or more from the other parent.” Smaller moves—such as from Madison to nearby Milwaukee (40 miles)—are not covered under the state’s child relocation law.
Child Relocation in Wisconsin: The Notice Process and Court Approval
The child relocation process in Wisconsin is designed to be balanced. It is not a total prohibition on parental relocation. Instead, the statute holds that a parent with shared physical placement who wishes to relocate more than 100 miles away from their co-parent must provide notice and seek court permission for the move. As a general rule, the parent in Wisconsin who is filing a petition for relocation must provide the following four things:
- The date of the proposed relocation;
- The city/town that they are planning to move to;
- The reason why they are intending to move (job, family, etc); and
- A proposed new placement schedule that is in the best interests of the child.
The party intending to move must serve a copy of their relocation petition on the co-parent. A parent who has been notified and who has a problem with the proposed move has the right to object. A court hearing may be required. If there is a dispute over relocation and/or the new custody & placement arrangement, the matter will be resolved with consideration to the best interests of the child.
Collaborative Solutions Often Work Best in Relocation Cases
With matters of child relocation, there are a lot of complicated, case-specific issues that need considered and addressed. One-size-fits-all solutions are not good enough in child relocation cases. It is imperative that parents are represented by an experienced Madison family lawyer who will put in the time and resources to handle their relocation cases properly.
In most child relocation cases, parents and families can benefit from a collaborative approach. You and your co-parent may be able to find an amicable solution that works well for your family. While we put an importance on collaborative problem-solving, our trial-tested Madison, WI child relocation lawyers are always ready to take strong legal action to protect your parental rights.
We Handle the Full Range of Child Relocation Cases in Madison
Are you a parent with shared child custody who lives in or is considering moving to Madison or the surrounding area? If so, we are prepared to help you with all aspects of your child relocation cases. Our Madison family lawyers are qualified to handle all types of relocation cases, including:
- Representing parents seeking to move or the objections of a co-parent;
- Representing parents who are trying to stop their co-parent from relocating; and
- Representing parents who are trying to negotiate a relocation agreement.
Why Rely On the Madison Child Relocation Lawyers at Karp & Iancu
Child relocation cases are complex. Whether you are moving or your co-parent is moving, you can benefit from a top-rated attorney. At Karp & Iancu, S.C., we have handled more than 10,000 family cases, including complex custody and relocation matters. When you call our Madison law office, you will be able to speak with a child relocation attorney who can:
- Listen to your story and answer questions about the state child relocation laws;
- Gather and organize all of the paperwork and information needed to proceed;
- Represent you in settlement discussions with your co-parent; and
- Take whatever legal action is required to get the best outcome in your relocation case.