Family, Criminal & Children's Court Attorneys Since 1991

Understanding Wisconsin child relocation laws

On Behalf of | Jul 4, 2024 | Custody and Parenting Time |

When a family undergoes the transition of a parental split, the well-being of the children remains a paramount concern. In Wisconsin, child relocation laws are designed to protect the interests of the children and the rights of both parents.

A parent cannot simply unilaterally decide to relocate with a child. Instead, there are specific legal protocols to follow.

Notification and consent

Wisconsin law mandates that a parent must notify the other parent if they wish to:

  • Move out of state and establish a new residence with the child.
  • Relocate inside Wisconsin to a residence 150 or more miles away from the other parent.
  • Take the child out of Wisconsin for more than 90 consecutive days.

This notice must be provided at least 60 days before the proposed move and sent via certified mail. It should include the move date and location and inform the non-relocating parent of their right to object.

Court involvement and mediation

If the non-relocating parent objects within 15 days of receiving the notice, it puts a halt on the move until the dispute is resolved. The court may initially send the parents to mediation to resolve their issues independently. If an agreement isn’t reached within 30 days, the court can intervene.

Best interests of the child

As always, the court’s decision on whether to allow a child’s relocation hinges on the child’s best interests. The judge will weigh the potential rewards of the move against any negative consequences for the child.

Navigating post-breakup child relocation laws can be complex. If you are considering a move with your child or wish to object to a relocation, experienced legal guidance can strengthen your position.