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Relocating after divorce in Wisconsin got easier, thanks to a new statute

It can take a while to grow accustomed to life after a divorce, especially when several court orders can impact various financial matters, time with one’s children, and even personal decisions.

One of the decisions that court orders can significantly impact is a parent’s ability to move with their child. In today’s world, Americans move an average of 11 times in their lifetime. This could be because of job opportunities or simply because they want a change of scenery. And both of those reasons are common after a divorce.

However, parents have more to consider about a move when there is a custody order to follow.

Moving wasn’t necessarily easy before

In the past, when parents with shared custody wanted to move, they had to give the other parent an official advance notice. They even had to file a motion with the family court for permission if they:

  • Planned to move out of Wisconsin, in which they also had to consult the UCCJEA
  • Planned to move more than 150 miles away from the other parent

Relocating with the child could completely change the original custody arrangement. So, it was essential to address that before moving in order to avoid charges of parental kidnapping.

The new statute made the procedure of relocating easier

The statute that changed the child relocation process has been in effect for more than a year now. It affects new cases filed after April 5, 2018.

And the new statute addresses some of the old discrepancies to make the relocation process a little easier for families. The most critical changes from this new statute that parents should know are:

  • Parents must file a motion with the court for permission to relocate the child, and include details such as:
    1. The time frame of the proposed move
    2. The new location and residence
    3. Why the parent is relocating
  • The law combined the processes of modifying the custody agreements with filing a motion to relocate, to facilitate the process.
  • It also changed the distance where parents must file a motion from 150 miles to 100 miles.
  • It eliminated the need to file a motion for an out-of-state move if the move is within 100 miles of the other parent’s residence.
  • Courts now focus on the child’s best interests instead of questioning the reasonableness of the relocation, as they often did before.

The new statute includes many more details that make relocating easier on the entire family. It is still necessary to address the original custody order, but the new statute facilitates the legal process of relocation.