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I Have Legal Custody. Can I Relocate with My Child?

 Posted on April 19, 2024 in Divorce

Rock County, WI child relocation lawyerThere are several reasons why a parent who has custody of a child might need to relocate. But the child’s other parent also has a legal right to see the child, which Wisconsin law takes seriously. There is a strict legal process that must be followed before moving with your child, and a qualified family lawyer should be consulted on any questions regarding relocation.

How simple the legal process is depends on many factors, one of them being how far you plan to move. This article will discuss those factors, as well as the procedure for an unmarried parent who wants to relocate with the child.

What is the Legal Process for Relocation?

If you want to relocate with your child, Wisconsin law requires you to file a request with a court if you plan to move more than 100 miles away from the other parent. When you file the petition, you will need to include:

  • The new address

  • The proposed date of the move

  • The reason for the location

  • A placement plan that details where the child will be placed for the school year, summer, and holidays

  • Costs and arrangements for transporting the child between parents

You will also need to notify your co-parent of your request to relocate. He or she has up to five days before the initial hearing to file an objection with the court. The objecting parent can also respond by proposing changes in child custody.

After an initial hearing, the judge may order mediation where the parents will try to come to an agreement with the help of a mediator. Otherwise, the court will proceed to hear both sides of the case.

Can I Relocate With My Child?

When deciding whether to approve your request, the court will seek to determine whether the move is in the child’s best interest. Wisconsin law requires the court will look at several factors, such as:

  • The wishes of the child

  • Cooperation and communication between the two parents

  • The relationship between the child and each parent

  • The amount and quality of the time the child spends with each parent

  • How well the child is integrated into the current home, school, and community

  • The child’s age and developmental needs

  • Whether either parent has a record of physical, sexual, emotional, or spousal abuse

  • Whether either parent has a record of alcohol or drug abuse

If your relocation is due to provable child or domestic abuse by the other parent, the court is likely to approve your request despite any objections.

Contact a Rock County, WI Family Lawyer

Getting permission to relocate with your child more than 100 miles away from the other parent is not a given, nor is it a simple process. That is why you should seek legal assistance from a Madison, Wisconsin family law attorney who is experienced in relocation cases. The skilled attorneys at John T. Fields & Associates, LLC can guide you through the legal process and will fight for the best outcome possible. Call 608-729-3590 today.

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