Child Relocation

Family Law Attorneys Advising Parents in Milwaukee and Beyond

If you are a parent in divorce or child custody proceedings, or you have recently divorced, moving with a child for work or personal reasons may take on a whole new level of complexity. Since your child’s relationship with your former spouse must be considered and their rights respected, child relocation typically requires that notice be provided to other interested individuals, that the court be alerted, and that time be given for the other parent to object. At Reddin & Singer, LLP, a Milwaukee child custody lawyer can help you navigate these complexities and work to facilitate a moving process that is as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Beginning the Child Relocation Process

While it makes sense for divorced parents to alert their former spouses when they intend to move their child across the country, other moves, such as a quick move down the street, may seem less significant. Under Wisconsin law, notice must be provided to the child’s other parent and the court whenever a parent intends to move a child out of the state of Wisconsin, take them more than 150 miles away from the other parent, or take them out of state on a temporary vacation or relocation for more than 90 days.

There are very specific procedures for how notice must be handled, so parents should pay close attention in order to minimize difficulties in the process. First, the notice must be given at least 60 days before the intended move so that the other parent has time to raise any objections. The notice must be sent by certified mail to ensure that it is received, and it must explain to the other parent when the move will be happening and where the child will be moving. It must state that the other parent has the right to object to the relocation as long as the objection is filed with the court within 15 days.

What Happens If An Objection Arises

If the other parent decides that they object to the move, a written objection will be filed. Once an objection is made, the parent who is seeking to move may not move until the objection is fully resolved. The length of time that it takes to resolve the issue will vary depending on the parties’ ability to amicably resolve the dispute. Typically, a court will first order the two parents to mediation to see if it is possible to reach some sort of agreement. If mediation is not successful, the court may intervene to conduct a full hearing with the parties.

What Does a Court Consider When Evaluating Relocation?

Courts dealing with child relocation issues must always consider the best interests of the child when determining whether a move is appropriate. Often, courts will consider whether there is a good-faith, reasonable basis for the move that is requested, as well as how that move will affect the child’s relationship with the parent who is not moving. If the relationship between the child and the parent who is objecting is particularly strong, the court may be more reluctant to agree to a move unless there are compelling reasons for doing so. When the child’s relationship with the parent who is objecting is not strong, or the child has a vested interest in the move, the court may be more likely to agree to the move.

Courts will also consider whether there are alternative arrangements that might be made that would satisfy the needs of the parent who is requesting to move and also ensure that the relationship between the child and the non-moving parent does not suffer. This may sometimes involve modifying the current custody and placement arrangements.

Contact a Child Custody Attorney in the Milwaukee Area

In today’s increasingly global world, moves happen all the time. Parents may need to move because of other family arrangements and responsibilities or because of changing work opportunities. At the same time, courts must also be cognizant of how these changes may affect a child’s relationship with their parents, for better or for worse. At Reddin & Singer, LLP, our Milwaukee lawyers can assist you in preparing a notification of a pending child relocation and defend or challenge the necessity of a move in a Wisconsin court. We also represent people in Port Washington, Racine, West Bend, Waukesha, and other areas of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Washington, and Waukesha Counties. Contact us at (414) 271-6400 or online for a free appointment with a family law attorney.