2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
October 19, 2017 - Introduced by Representatives Rodriguez, Ballweg, Billings,
Born, Duchow, Mursau, Steffen, Tusler and Pronschinske, cosponsored by
Senators Harsdorf, Darling, L. Taylor, Olsen, Marklein and Bewley.
Referred to Committee on Children and Families.
1An Act to repeal
767.41 (4) (d);
767.001 (1) (k), 767.117 (1) (c), 767.215 2
(2) (j) 1., 767.225 (1) (bm) and 767.89 (6); to repeal and recreate
767.481; and 3to create
767.14, 767.41 (6) (h), 767.805 (4) (am) and 767.89 (3) (bm) of the 4
statutes; relating to: relocating with a child who is the subject of a legal
5custody or physical placement order.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill changes the procedures for relocating a child's residence when a court
grants any periods of physical placement with a child to both parents and one parent
intends to relocate and reside with the child 100 miles or more from the other parent.
Under current law, if the court grants periods of physical placement to more
than one parent, a parent is required to provide at least 60 days' written notice to the
court and the other parent of intent to move with the child out of state; move 150
miles or more from the other parent; or remove the child from the state for more than
90 consecutive days. If the other parent objects to the proposed action, he or she may
file a notice of objection.
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:
767.001 (1) (k) of the statutes is amended to read:
(k) Concerning periods of physical placement or visitation rights 3
to children, including an action to prohibit a move with or the removal of relocate and
a child under s. 767.481 (3) (c)
767.117 (1) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
(c) Unless the action is one under s. 767.001 (1) (g) or (h), without 2
the consent of the other party or an order of the court, relocating and
a residence with a minor child of the parties outside the state or
more than 150 100 4
miles from the residence of the other party within the state
, removing a minor child 5
of the parties from the state for more than 90 consecutive days, or concealing a minor 6
child of the parties from the other party.
767.14 of the statutes is created to read:
8767.14 Change of address.
Within 5 business days after receiving notice of 9
an address change by a party to an action affecting the family, the clerk of circuit 10
court shall enter the new address in the case file for the action.
767.215 (2) (j) 1. of the statutes is amended to read:
(j) 1. Establishing
Relocating and establishing
a residence with a 13
minor child of the parties outside the state or
more than 150 100
miles from the 14
residence of the other party within the state
767.225 (1) (bm) of the statutes is amended to read:
(bm) Allowing a party to move with or remove relocate and reside
a child after a notice of objection has been filed pending a final hearing
s. 767.481 (2) (a) (3)
767.41 (4) (d) of the statutes is repealed.
767.41 (6) (h) of the statutes is created to read:
(h) In making an order of legal custody and periods of physical 22
placement, the court shall in writing inform the parents, and any other person 23
granted legal custody of the child, of all of the following:
1. That each parent must notify the other parent, the child support agency, and 2
the clerk of court of the address at which they may be served within 10 business days 3
of moving to that address. The address may be a street or post office address.
2. That the address provided to the court is the address on which the other 5
parties may rely for service of any motion relating to modification of legal custody or 6
physical placement or to relocating the child's residence.
3. That a parent granted periods of physical placement with the child must 8
obtain a court order before relocating with the child 100 miles or more from the other 9
parent if the other parent also has court-ordered periods of physical placement with 10
767.481 of the statutes is repealed and recreated to read:
12767.481 Relocating a child's residence. (1) Motion; filing and serving.
(a) Except as provided in par. (d), if the court grants any periods of physical 14
placement with a child to both parents and one parent intends to relocate and reside 15
with the child 100 miles or more from the other parent, the parent who intends to 16
relocate and reside with the child shall file a motion with the court seeking 17
permission for the child's relocation.
(b) The motion under par. (a) shall include all of the following:
1. A relocation plan including:
a. The date of the proposed relocation.
b. The municipality and state of the proposed new residence.
c. The reason for the relocation.
d. If applicable, a proposed new placement schedule, including placement 24
during the school year, summers, and holidays.
e. The proposed responsibility and allocation of costs for each parent for 2
transportation of the child between the parties under any proposed new placement 3
2. If applicable, a request for a change in legal custody.
3. Notice to the other parent that, if he or she objects to the relocation, he or 6
she must file and serve, no later than 5 days before the initial hearing, an objection 7
to the relocation and any alternate proposal, including a modification of physical 8
placement or legal custody.
4. An attached “Objection to Relocation" form, furnished by the court, for use 10
by the other parent if he or she objects to the relocation.
(c) The parent filing the motion shall serve a copy of the motion by mail on the 12
other parent at his or her most recent address on file with the court. If the parent 13
filing the motion has actual knowledge that the other parent has a different address 14
from the one on file, the motion shall be served by mail at both addresses.
(d) The requirement to file a motion under par. (a) does not apply if the child's 16
parents already live more than 100 miles apart when a parent proposes to relocate 17
and reside with the child. If the parents already live more than 100 miles apart, the 18
parent who intends to relocate with the child shall serve written notice of his or her 19
intent to relocate on the other parent at least 60 days before relocation. Such written 20
notice shall include the date on which the parent intends to relocate and the parent's 21
22(2) Initial hearing
. (a) Upon the filing of a motion under sub. (1) (a), the court 23
shall schedule an initial hearing to be held within 30 days after the motion is filed 24
and shall provide notice to the parents of the date of the initial hearing. The child 25
may not be relocated pending the initial hearing.
(b) If the court finds at the initial hearing that the parent not filing the motion 2
was properly served and does not appear at the hearing, or appears at the hearing 3
but does not object to the proposed relocation plan, the court shall approve the 4
proposed relocation plan submitted by the parent filing the motion unless the court 5
finds that the proposed relocation plan is not in the best interest of the child.
(c) If the parent not filing the motion appears at the initial hearing and objects 7
to the relocation plan, the court shall do all of the following:
1. Require the parent who objects to respond by stating in writing within 5 9
business days, if he or she has not already done so, the basis for the objection and his 10
or her proposals for a new placement schedule and transportation responsibilities 11
and costs under sub. (1) (b) 4. and 5. in the event that the court grants the parent 12
filing the motion permission to relocate with the child. The parent who objects shall 13
file the response with the court and serve a copy of the response by mail on the other 14
parent at his or her most recent address on file with the court. If the parent filing 15
the response has actual knowledge that the other parent has a different address from 16
the one on file, the response shall be served by mail to both addresses.
2. Refer the parties to mediation, unless the court finds that attending 18
mediation would cause undue hardship or endanger the health or safety of a party 19
as provided in s. 767.405 (8) (b).
3. Except as provided in s. 767.407 (1) (am), appoint a guardian ad litem for the 21
child. The court shall provide in the order for appointment, however, that if a 22
mediator is ordered under subd. 2. the guardian ad litem is not required to commence 23
investigation on behalf of the child unless the mediator notifies the court that the 24
parties are unable to reach an agreement on the issue.
4. Set the matter for a further hearing to be held within 60 days.
1(3) Relocation pending final hearing
. (a) At the initial hearing, or at any time 2
after the initial hearing but before the final hearing, the court may issue a temporary 3
order under s. 767.225 (1) (bm) to allow the parent proposing the relocation to 4
relocate with the child if the court finds that the relocation is in the child's immediate 5
best interest. The court shall inform the parties, however, that approval of the 6
relocation is subject to revision at the final hearing.
(b) If a court commissioner makes a determination, order, or ruling regarding 8
relocation pending the final hearing under par. (a), either party may seek a review 9
by hearing de novo under s. 757.69 (8). The motion requesting the de novo hearing 10
must be filed with the court within 10 days after the court commissioner orally issues 11
the determination, order, or ruling. The judge shall hold the de novo hearing within 12
30 days after the motion requesting the de novo hearing is filed, unless the court finds 13
good cause for an extension.
14(4) Standards for deciding relocation motions
. At the final hearing, the court 15
shall decide the matter as follows:
(a) If the proposed relocation only minimally changes or affects the current 17
placement schedule or does not affect or change the current placement schedule, the 18
court shall approve the proposed relocation, set a new placement schedule if 19
appropriate, and allocate the costs of and responsibility for transportation of the 20
child between the parties under the new placement schedule.