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Currently, upon notice of objection, the court must refer the parents for
mediation or other family court services and may appoint a guardian ad litem. If the
dispute cannot be resolved through mediation, the court must appoint a guardian ad
litem and may modify the legal custody or physical placement order to accommodate
or prohibit the move. Depending on how custody and placement are allocated
between the parents, there are a number of factors that the court must consider,

including whether modification is in the best interest of the child, when determining
whether to modify the legal custody or physical placement order affecting the child.
Under the bill, if both parents are granted periods of physical placement with
a child, a parent must obtain a court order before relocating with the child 100 miles
or more from the other parent, unless the parents already live 100 miles or more
away from each other. The bill requires a parent to file a motion to relocate a child's
residence and a relocation plan, and requires an initial hearing on the motion to be
held within 30 days of filing. If the other parent does not object or appear at the
hearing, the court must approve the relocation plan submitted by the parent unless
it finds that the plan is not in the best interest of the child. Under the bill, if the
parents already live 100 miles or more away from each other, a parent proposing to
relocate with a child must provide 60 days' written notice to the other parent.
If the other parent objects to the relocation, the court must require a response
from the objecting parent, refer the parties to mediation, appoint a guardian ad
litem, and set the matter for a second hearing to be held within 60 days. After the
initial hearing but before the final hearing, the court may allow a parent to relocate
with the child, subject to revision at the final hearing, if the court finds that the
relocation is in the child's best interest. Under the bill, if the proposed relocation plan
does not affect the existing placement schedule or only minimally affects the existing
placement schedule, the court is required to approve the proposed relocation. If the
proposed relocation will have more than a minimal effect on the existing placement
schedule, the court is required to consider the factors in custody and physical
placement determinations. Under the bill, there is a presumption in favor of
granting the motion to relocate the child if the objecting parent has not significantly
exercised court-ordered physical placement or if the move is related to abuse.
At any time after a motion for relocation of a child is filed, the bill allows the
parties to file a stipulated agreement with the court that specifies that neither parent
has any objection to the planned relocation and that sets out any agreed upon
modification to legal custody or periods of physical placement. The bill requires the
court to incorporate the terms of the stipulation into an order for relocation or revised
order of legal custody or physical placement, unless the court finds that the
modification is not in the best interest of the child.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB551,1 1Section 1. 767.001 (1) (k) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB551,2,42 767.001 (1) (k) Concerning periods of physical placement or visitation rights
3to children, including an action to prohibit a move with or the removal of relocate and
4reside with
a child under s. 767.481 (3) (c).
AB551,2 5Section 2. 767.117 (1) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB551,3,6
1767.117 (1) (c) Unless the action is one under s. 767.001 (1) (g) or (h), without
2the consent of the other party or an order of the court, relocating and establishing
3a residence with a minor child of the parties outside the state or more than 150 100
4miles from the residence of the other party within the state, removing a minor child
5of the parties from the state for more than 90 consecutive days, or concealing a minor
6child of the parties from the other party.
AB551,3 7Section 3. 767.14 of the statutes is created to read:
AB551,3,10 8767.14 Change of address. Within 5 business days after receiving notice of
9an address change by a party to an action affecting the family, the clerk of circuit
10court shall enter the new address in the case file for the action.
AB551,4 11Section 4. 767.215 (2) (j) 1. of the statutes is amended to read:
AB551,3,1412 767.215 (2) (j) 1. Establishing Relocating and establishing a residence with a
13minor child of the parties outside the state or more than 150 100 miles from the
14residence of the other party within the state.
AB551,5 15Section 5. 767.225 (1) (bm) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB551,3,1816 767.225 (1) (bm) Allowing a party to move with or remove relocate and reside
17with
a child after a notice of objection has been filed pending a final hearing under
18s. 767.481 (2) (a) (3).
AB551,6 19Section 6. 767.41 (4) (d) of the statutes is repealed.
AB551,7 20Section 7. 767.41 (6) (h) of the statutes is created to read:
AB551,3,2321 767.41 (6) (h) In making an order of legal custody and periods of physical
22placement, the court shall in writing inform the parents, and any other person
23granted legal custody of the child, of all of the following:
AB551,4,3
11. That each parent must notify the other parent, the child support agency, and
2the clerk of court of the address at which they may be served within 10 business days
3of moving to that address. The address may be a street or post office address.
AB551,4,64 2. That the address provided to the court is the address on which the other
5parties may rely for service of any motion relating to modification of legal custody or
6physical placement or to relocating the child's residence.
AB551,4,107 3. That a parent granted periods of physical placement with the child must
8obtain a court order before relocating with the child 100 miles or more from the other
9parent if the other parent also has court-ordered periods of physical placement with
10the child.
AB551,8 11Section 8. 767.481 of the statutes is repealed and recreated to read:
AB551,4,17 12767.481 Relocating a child's residence. (1) Motion; filing and serving.
13(a) Except as provided in par. (d), if the court grants any periods of physical
14placement with a child to both parents and one parent intends to relocate and reside
15with the child 100 miles or more from the other parent, the parent who intends to
16relocate and reside with the child shall file a motion with the court seeking
17permission for the child's relocation.
AB551,4,1818 (b) The motion under par. (a) shall include all of the following:
AB551,4,1919 1. A relocation plan including:
AB551,4,2020 a. The date of the proposed relocation.
AB551,4,2121 b. The municipality and state of the proposed new residence.
AB551,4,2222 c. The reason for the relocation.
AB551,4,2423 d. If applicable, a proposed new placement schedule, including placement
24during the school year, summers, and holidays.
AB551,5,3
1e. The proposed responsibility and allocation of costs for each parent for
2transportation of the child between the parties under any proposed new placement
3schedule.
AB551,5,44 2. If applicable, a request for a change in legal custody.
AB551,5,85 3. Notice to the other parent that, if he or she objects to the relocation, he or
6she must file and serve, no later than 5 days before the initial hearing, an objection
7to the relocation and any alternate proposal, including a modification of physical
8placement or legal custody.
AB551,5,109 4. An attached “Objection to Relocation" form, furnished by the court, for use
10by the other parent if he or she objects to the relocation.
AB551,5,1411 (c) The parent filing the motion shall serve a copy of the motion by mail on the
12other parent at his or her most recent address on file with the court. If the parent
13filing the motion has actual knowledge that the other parent has a different address
14from the one on file, the motion shall be served by mail at both addresses.
AB551,5,2115 (d) The requirement to file a motion under par. (a) does not apply if the child's
16parents already live more than 100 miles apart when a parent proposes to relocate
17and reside with the child. If the parents already live more than 100 miles apart, the
18parent who intends to relocate with the child shall serve written notice of his or her
19intent to relocate on the other parent at least 60 days before relocation. Such written
20notice shall include the date on which the parent intends to relocate and the parent's
21new address.
AB551,5,25 22(2) Initial hearing. (a) Upon the filing of a motion under sub. (1) (a), the court
23shall schedule an initial hearing to be held within 30 days after the motion is filed
24and shall provide notice to the parents of the date of the initial hearing. The child
25may not be relocated pending the initial hearing.
AB551,6,5
1(b) If the court finds at the initial hearing that the parent not filing the motion
2was properly served and does not appear at the hearing, or appears at the hearing
3but does not object to the proposed relocation plan, the court shall approve the
4proposed relocation plan submitted by the parent filing the motion unless the court
5finds that the proposed relocation plan is not in the best interest of the child.
AB551,6,76 (c) If the parent not filing the motion appears at the initial hearing and objects
7to the relocation plan, the court shall do all of the following:
AB551,6,168 1. Require the parent who objects to respond by stating in writing within 5
9business days, if he or she has not already done so, the basis for the objection and his
10or her proposals for a new placement schedule and transportation responsibilities
11and costs under sub. (1) (b) 4. and 5. in the event that the court grants the parent
12filing the motion permission to relocate with the child. The parent who objects shall
13file the response with the court and serve a copy of the response by mail on the other
14parent at his or her most recent address on file with the court. If the parent filing
15the response has actual knowledge that the other parent has a different address from
16the one on file, the response shall be served by mail to both addresses.
AB551,6,1917 2. Refer the parties to mediation, unless the court finds that attending
18mediation would cause undue hardship or endanger the health or safety of a party
19as provided in s. 767.405 (8) (b).
AB551,6,2420 3. Except as provided in s. 767.407 (1) (am), appoint a guardian ad litem for the
21child. The court shall provide in the order for appointment, however, that if a
22mediator is ordered under subd. 2. the guardian ad litem is not required to commence
23investigation on behalf of the child unless the mediator notifies the court that the
24parties are unable to reach an agreement on the issue.
AB551,6,2525 4. Set the matter for a further hearing to be held within 60 days.
AB551,7,6
1(3) Relocation pending final hearing. (a) At the initial hearing, or at any time
2after the initial hearing but before the final hearing, the court may issue a temporary
3order under s. 767.225 (1) (bm) to allow the parent proposing the relocation to
4relocate with the child if the court finds that the relocation is in the child's immediate
5best interest. The court shall inform the parties, however, that approval of the
6relocation is subject to revision at the final hearing.
AB551,7,137 (b) If a court commissioner makes a determination, order, or ruling regarding
8relocation pending the final hearing under par. (a), either party may seek a review
9by hearing de novo under s. 757.69 (8). The motion requesting the de novo hearing
10must be filed with the court within 10 days after the court commissioner orally issues
11the determination, order, or ruling. The judge shall hold the de novo hearing within
1230 days after the motion requesting the de novo hearing is filed, unless the court finds
13good cause for an extension.
AB551,7,15 14(4) Standards for deciding relocation motions. At the final hearing, the court
15shall decide the matter as follows:
AB551,7,2016 (a) If the proposed relocation only minimally changes or affects the current
17placement schedule or does not affect or change the current placement schedule, the
18court shall approve the proposed relocation, set a new placement schedule if
19appropriate, and allocate the costs of and responsibility for transportation of the
20child between the parties under the new placement schedule.
AB551,7,2321 (b) In cases other than that specified in par. (a), the court shall, in determining
22whether to approve the proposed relocation and a new placement schedule, use the
23following factors:
AB551,7,2424 1. The factors under s. 767.41 (5).
AB551,8,3
12. A presumption that the court should approve the plan of the parent
2proposing the relocation if the court determines that the objecting parent has not
3significantly exercised court-ordered physical placement.
AB551,8,84 3. A presumption that the court should approve the relocation plan if the court
5determines that the parent's relocation is related to abuse, as defined in s. 813.122
6(1) (a), of the child, as defined in s. 813.122 (1) (b); a pattern or serious incident of
7interspousal battery, as described under s. 940.19 or 940.20 (1m); or a pattern or
8serious incident of domestic abuse, as defined in s. 813.12 (1) (am).
AB551,8,119 (c) If the objecting parent files a responsive motion that seeks a substantial
10change in physical placement or a change in legal custody, the court shall, in deciding
11the motion of the objecting parent, use the following factors:
AB551,8,1212 1. The factors under s. 767.41 (5).
AB551,8,1513 2. A presumption against transferring legal custody or the residence of the
14child to a parent who the court determines has significantly failed to exercise
15court-ordered physical placement.
AB551,8,2116 3. A presumption that the court should approve the plan of the parent
17proposing the relocation if the court determines that the parent's relocation is related
18to abuse, as defined in s. 813.122 (1) (a), of the child, as defined in s. 813.122 (1) (b);
19a pattern or serious incident of interspousal battery, as described under s. 940.19 or
20940.20 (1m); or a pattern or serious incident of domestic abuse, as defined in s. 813.12
21(1) (am).
AB551,9,422 (d) The court shall decide all contested relocation motions and all related
23motions for modification of legal custody or physical placement in the best interest
24of the child. The movant bears the burden of proof in a contested relocation motion
25or a related motion for modification of legal custody or physical placement except in

1cases involving a presumption under par. (b) 2. or 3. or (c) 2. or 3. In cases involving
2a presumption under par. (b) 2. or 3. or (c) 2. or 3., the parent objecting to the
3relocation shall have the burden of proof in demonstrating the proposed relocation
4is not in the child's best interest.
AB551,9,95 (e) If the objecting parent files a responsive motion that seeks a substantial
6change in physical placement or a change in legal custody, and the parent proposing
7the relocation withdraws or otherwise fails to pursue his or her relocation motion or
8the court does not allow the relocation, the court shall proceed on the objecting
9parent's responsive motion under s. 767.451.
AB551,9,19 10(5) Stipulations. At any time after a motion is filed under sub. (1), if the parties
11agree that one parent may relocate more than 100 miles away from the other parent,
12the parties may file a stipulation with the court that specifies that neither parent has
13any objection to the planned relocation and that sets out any agreed upon
14modification to legal custody or periods of physical placement, including
15responsibility and costs for transportation of the child between the parties under a
16proposed new placement schedule. The court shall incorporate the terms of the
17stipulation into an order for the relocation or a revised order of legal custody or
18physical placement, as appropriate, unless the court finds that the modification is
19not in the best interest of the child.
AB551,9,24 20(6) Other notice required for removals. Except as otherwise provided in an
21order or judgment allocating periods of physical placement with a child, a person who
22has legal custody of and periods of physical placement with the child shall notify any
23other person who has periods of physical placement with the child before removing
24the child from the child's residence for a period of more than 14 consecutive days.
AB551,10,2
1(7) Applicability. (a) The requirements and procedures under this section
2apply to relocations with or removals of a child in any of the following cases:
AB551,10,43 1. Cases that are originally commenced on or after the effective date of this
4subdivision .... [LRB inserts date].
AB551,10,85 2. Cases that were originally commenced before the effective date of this
6subdivision .... [LRB inserts date], but in which a legal custody or physical placement
7order is modified on or after the effective date of this subdivision .... [LRB inserts
8date].
AB551,10,129 (b) Except as provided in par. (a) 2., the requirements and procedures under
10s. 767.481, 2015 stats., apply to moves with or removals of a child in cases that were
11originally commenced before the effective date of this paragraph .... [LRB inserts
12date].
AB551,9 13Section 9. 767.805 (4) (am) of the statutes is created to read:
AB551,10,1414 767.805 (4) (am) The information set forth in s. 767.41 (6) (h).
AB551,10 15Section 10. 767.89 (3) (bm) of the statutes is created to read:
AB551,10,1616 767.89 (3) (bm) The information set forth in s. 767.41 (6) (h).
AB551,11 17Section 11. 767.89 (6) of the statutes is amended to read:
AB551,10,2018 767.89 (6) Other applicable provisions. Sections 767.41, 767.43, 767.451,
19767.481, 767.57, 767.58, 767.59, 767.71, 767.75, 767.76, 767.77, and 767.78, where
20applicable, apply to a judgment or order under this section.
AB551,12 21Section 12. Initial applicability.
AB551,11,222 (1) Information in orders regarding relocations. The treatment of sections
23767.41 (4) (d) and (6) (h), 767.805 (4) (am), and 767.89 (3) (bm) of the statutes first
24applies to judgments or orders for legal custody of and physical placement with a
25child that are granted in actions affecting the family, including actions to modify

1judgments or orders previously granted, that are commenced on the effective date
2of this subsection.
AB551,11,53 (2) Motions to relocate with a child. The treatment of sections 767.001 (1)
4(k) and 767.225 (1) (bm) of the statutes first applies to motions to relocate with a child
5that are filed in any of the following:
AB551,11,66 (a) Cases originally commenced on the effective date of this paragraph.
AB551,11,87 (b) Cases in which legal custody or physical placement is modified on the
8effective date of this paragraph.
AB551,11,139 (3) Prohibited acts during the pendency of an action. The treatment of
10sections 767.117 (1) (c) and 767.215 (2) (j) 1. of the statutes first applies to actions
11affecting the family, excluding actions for maintenance payments or property
12division, but including actions to modify judgments or orders previously granted,
13that are commenced on the effective date of this subsection.
AB551,11,1414 (End)
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