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How to change custody in Wisconsin

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2021 | Custody and Parenting Time |

After the court establishes child custody and a parenting time schedule, it may be necessary to change it. Wisconsin law creates uniform standards for when a court may modify a child custody order. While minor schedule changes may be somewhat routine, circumstances must change significantly for the court to award a full custody change.

What are Wisconsin laws for a custody change?

In Wisconsin, the laws that apply to a custody change vary depending on how much time has passed since the original order. Within the first two years, a parent must show that physical or emotional harm is happening to the child under the current circumstances. The parent seeking the change has the burden of proof by substantial evidence.

If more than two years have passed since the original ruling, Wisconsin laws allow for a custody change if there has been a substantial change in circumstances. The changes must be significant enough that it is in the best interests of the child to disrupt their current routine and change custody.

The process for changing child custody

If parents agree, they may stipulate to change child custody and parenting time. Once signed by a judge, the change is legally enforceable. If the other parent does not agree, the only way to have a custody change that is enforceable is by a court order. The parent wanting a modification must file their case and present evidence. It’s important to understand that courts require a high burden of proof and strong evidence that the change is appropriate for the child.

Changing child custody

It’s important to understand the legal process if you hope to change child custody. The moving parent must meet a high standard. The exact proofs depend on the circumstances as well as the amount of time that has passed since the original court order.