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When Can I Request a Child Custody Modification in Wisconsin?

 Posted on June 09, 2023 in Divorce

Madison Parenting Time LawyerA child custody order is a legal arrangement that establishes the rights and responsibilities of parents regarding the care and custody of their children. Under Wisconsin law, neither parent can request changes to the order for at least two years unless they can show that there are circumstances that necessitate this change. The following is a brief overview of child custody modification. For more detailed information, contact John T. Fields & Associates, LLC.

Substantial Change in Circumstances

As mentioned above, a parent must show there have been significant changes that warrant a change in custody in order to request a modification before the two years is up. Some of these changes can include a change in the custodial parent’s living arrangements, their physical or mental health, or their employment status. If there are concerns about a parent's fitness or misconduct, such as abuse, neglect, substance abuse, or criminal behavior, the court may consider modifying the custody order to protect the child from potential harm.

Other issues that could be used as grounds for a child custody modification include:

  • Emergencies or safety concerns – If there is an immediate emergency or safety concern that threatens the well-being of the child, such as domestic violence or substance abuse, a custody order can be modified on an interim or emergency basis to ensure the child's safety and protection.

  • Parental cooperation and communication – If one parent consistently fails to cooperate, communicate, or adhere to the terms of the existing custody order, it may negatively impact the child's well-being. In such cases, a modification may be sought to establish a more effective and workable custody arrangement.

  • Parental alienation – When one parent actively undermines the child's relationship with the other parent through manipulation, negative influence, or alienation tactics, it can be detrimental to the child's well-being. In such cases, a modification may be pursued to address and rectify the situation.

  • Relocation – If one parent intends to relocate a significant distance away, it can have a substantial impact on the existing custody arrangement. In such cases, a modification may be necessary to accommodate the new logistical challenges and ensure the child's best interests are considered.

  • Change in child's needs or schedule – As children grow and their needs evolve, modifications to the custody order may be necessary to accommodate changes in their education, extracurricular activities, medical requirements, or other scheduling considerations.

  • Parental Agreement – In some cases, parents may mutually agree to modify the custody order to better meet the changing needs and circumstances of the child and the parents' lives. If both parents can reach a consensus, the court will typically approve the agreed-upon modifications.

Contact a Dane County Family Lawyer for Legal Assitance

Modifying a child custody order requires filing a petition with the court and demonstrating the necessity for the modification based on the specific circumstances. It is important to consult with a Madison, WI child custody lawyer who understands the legal requirements and procedures involved in seeking a custody order modification in Wisconsin. Call John T. Fields & Associates, LLC at 608-729-3590 to schedule a confidential consultation.



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