Wisconsin Removal of Children from the State FAQ's
CAN I MOVE WITH MY CHILDREN AWAY FROM MY HOME TOWN?
The law in Wisconsin is that you cannot move more than 150 miles from your residence or out of state without providing notice to the other parent.
HOW DO I GIVE NOTICE OF MY INTENT TO MOVE?
You must provide sixty (60) days advance notice to the other parent explaining when and where you intend to move and the reasons for said move.
If your spouse/ex-spouse objects, he or she can file an objection with the court but must do so within fifteen (15) days of receiving your notice.
It is wise to make no definite plans to move until you learn whether or not your spouse/ex-spouse will object.
WHAT IF MY SPOUSE/EX-SPOUSE OBJECTS? CAN THE COURT REALLY TELL ME I CAN'T MOVE?
Yes. Or, more accurately, the court can prevent the children from moving which has the same effect. The law in Wisconsin is somewhat complicated but states that the court can either prevent the move or modify the custody and placement provisions if the court finds all of the following:
The modification is in the best interest of the child.
The move or removal will result in a substantial change of circumstances since the entry of the last order affecting legal custody or the last order substantially affecting physical placement.
YOU MEAN THE COURT CAN AWARD CUSTODY OR PLACEMENT TO MY SPOUSE/EX-SPOUSE IF I MOVE?
Yes. It would depend on what type of relationship your spouse or ex-spouse has with your children and how much he/she sees the children but the court could transfer custody and/or placement to him or her if it feels it would be in the best interests of the children.
HOW DOES THE COURT DETERMINE THIS?
The court must consider the following factors in making its determination:
Whether the purpose of the proposed action is reasonable.
The nature and extent of the child's relationship with the other parent and the disruption to that relationship which the proposed action may cause.
The availability of alternative arrangements to foster and continue the child's relationship with and access to the other parent.
WHAT IF I DON'T MOVE MORE THAN 150 MILES AWAY BUT DO MOVE OVER AN HOUR AWAY?
In that case, your current placement schedule may not be workable due to the distance and either party may move the court to modify the placement schedule based on a substantial change in circumstances. However, the court could still determine that it is not in the best interests of the children to move and/or change schools. Therefore, if the other parent's residency permits, the court could still award placement to the other parent so that the children could remain in their current school district. Again, it is best to wait to make definite plans until you can be sure the other parent agrees or the court will agree that the children may move and change schools.