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Single Parents - Divorced Adults Group Message Board › Kids every other week...

Kids every other week...

A former member
Post #: 12
I'm not a legal expert but each parent can move up to 150 miles I believe. So her moving is fine unless your MSA states otherwise. However most judges/GAL's will say 150 miles is too far... However if she's already moved.. your SOL.. The two years I believe is for support ONLY. My ex tried to move and was barred from doing so, because my GAL wouldn't allow it. But if your "D" is final... I think you are stuck unitl you challenge placement further.
A former member
Post #: 7
Thanks Scott,

So your kind of saying that if things stay the same as they are right now, she can move them to a different school district? Or do I have any say in that?
A former member
Post #: 29
Tim, you gotta see someone who can give you good advice. I'd start with the Dane Co. Family Court Counseling Service. If you can get your ex to go with you, great. Otherwise, go it alone.
A former member
Post #: 12
I am no expert on these things at all. I have read that each parent does have the option of moving up to 150 miles within Wisconsin without requiring approval from the other parent. There is some kind of option to file a protest if it significantly affects the custodial agreement.

There is some information here:


If one attempts to move more than 150 miles or out of state, then there are many more procedures that must be followed.

A former member
Post #: 13
If your custody is 50/50 yes you have a say... but from the sounds of it you'll have a legal battle on your hands. If there is a disagreement then the courts will have to deside and you're paying huge somes for attorney expenses. Not nowing what your agreeements are it is very difficult to say what is and what isn't. While a great resource, everyone in this group as had different experences, and we could all give you different and conflicting information. My suggestion would be to meet with as many attorney's as possible using their "1 hour" free consulation. I think you need to figure out what is going on and get a handle on what can and cannot be done. Many of us can be here to offer support but none of us are experts.
A former member
Post #: 13
Again ... I'm not an expert on these matters.

The reasoning behind the law that allows for lightly regulated moves of up to 150 miles within Wisconsin, is that the parents are now independent adults and thus neither should be overly controlled by the other.

However moves that separate the parents by an hour or two, while being allowed, can impact joint custody. And the court can find that such a move is not in the best interest of the children. Thus the parent moving 100 miles away does risk having the custodial placement reviewed and perhaps altered.

Moves of a much shorter distance, say 10-15 miles, are less subject to the court interceding. Unless it can be proved that the move is detrimental to the children, such as placing them into an unsafe or unhealthy situation. For example if one of the parents moves in with a convicted drug user or they are frequently left unsupervised. If the situation is healthy for the children, then it is unlikely that a court would rule a short distance move would be so inconvenient to the other parent that a change in custody is merited.

Each situation is very different and the issues can be extremely complex. One never knows how the authorities will rule. You need to evaluate your situation and that of your children, assemble your argument, then talk it over with someone with legal expertise to get an opinion as to whether you have a legitimate case.
A former member
Post #: 12
I think you have something to say about the move, but you are going to have to have a lawyer to help you say it. I was told I can't change schools without his permission (not that I was thinking of doing it - but I did move and do have to drive the kids to and from 3 different schools). I agree it is a ton of money that seems like such a waste because in the end it is only mediating your communication with the other and if they could just be adults then you wouldn't have to spend all that money on a lawyer. . . Anyway, not having a lawyer has already screwed you into the position of a parenting plan that more than likely won't be touched for 2 years - but a lawyer could tell you more about it. I think if your approach was to just get more visitation without changing support, then you have a better shot at it. I have heard something about the 2 years thing and am happy I broke down and hired a lawyer before I finalized the horrible plan I originally agreed to. Yes, I am $5400 into it and feel bitter that he has to hear EXACTLY the same things I said to him from someone else's mouth before he will hear it, but I guess that is who I failed to see when I agreed to marry him. If I go bankrupt trying to defend the best interest of my kids, then it is money well spent. i don't ever want them to think I didn't do what I could for them because I didn't have any money.
In selecting a lawyer, I agree that you should see as many as you can, find one that is "aggressive", not overwhelmed with cases, but has enough cases that causing fights between the 2 of you isn't his/her focus.
My friend in WA State represented herself in court with the ex physically abusing the kid and, without the lawyer, most of her evidence was thrown out. He now gets visitation. I don't have anywhere near her issues, but she was emphatic that you don't go into court without a lawyer.
Hope some of this helps and doesn't just depress you further! It really does seem that the system is designed in favor of whoever has the most money to fight with and not really the best interest of children.
A former member
Post #: 6
Chris -
I have the same schedule as Scot and Laura do and have come to like it very much. But there are still low times every once in awhile when I am giving them up for the five day stretch. Like tomorrow morning when I drop them off to school and have 4 days off for the holiday. It does get easier and you may even start looking forward to some of that time away for other activities as the others have stated. The one issue with this schedule in my case is when you drop a 7 day vacation in the right place you don't get to see them for 12 days, but it works both ways and it allows you the time to take that 'family' road trip to Wally World with the kids in tow.

Tim -
I have also been told the 2yr rule about no custody changes in Sauk county. I would think that changing a school district would be frowned upon by a GAL if the opportunity existed to keep the kid in the same school, but before you pack your bags... my ex moved to the town i worked in 40 miles from where i lived and the courts sided with her that the kids would go to the school district she lived in and I worked in because if there was an illness 50 minute response time would not be acceptable so it was written into the final agreement that they would attend Middleton schools... which works for me... most of the time. I am happy I had a lawyer, but not large sum of $ it took.
That's just my personal experience - the lawyers in the county of your divorce will know best what is possible.
Madison, WI
Post #: 16
I have been thinking looooooong and hard about this.. I am thinking of seeking 100% custody and placement. I mentioned it to STB-ex and she fliiiiiipped.

My concern is rooted on the fact that if the kids are with me 50% of the time, they are with ME. If they are with her 50% of the time, because of her full-time work, which might include going to conference or seminars or her consulting work, and working on her PhD and living her own "lifestyle", the kids might end up with her, her parents, her friends, etc.

I am also concerned that someone who has been unfaithful more than once (up to 5 in the last count although she dismisses some of them as "not really that big of a deal") will continue living this way and exposing my kids to a lot of "uncles". This I know is partyally emotional on my part but I still feel like it's a valid point.

Am I bonkers asking for this? Is 100% custody/placement too much for one person? Will the Brewers ever win a championship? Does the light inside of a fridge really turn off when you close the door? If the fortune inside a fortune cookie say "Eat Me.", does it refer to the cookie itself or the piece of paper with the fortune?

Anyway someone can pin this thread just to see if more people have something to say about it?
user 6540411
Group Organizer
Madison, WI
Post #: 169
Jose, once again I must commend you for keeping your sense of humor through all of this. I'm not a Brewers fan, and I've never contemplated the fortune cookie question in-depth. But I certainly do have an opinion or two in regards to your question about 100% placement. Of course, I am in no way an expert and I don't pretend otherwise. However, I do feel entitled to an opinion or two having grown up with divorced parents (including 100% placement with my mom, a father who lived 1,000 miles away and a step-father with whom I did not get along for many of my formative years), combined with my current experience as a divorced parent.

My personal opinion is that while many folks can and do manage 100% placement for many good reasons (e.g. the other parent is absent or dangerous in some way), the ideal scenario for children is frequent, regular contact with both parents. I just feel that no matter how good a parent is, they cannot adequately fill both roles. In addition to the gender-specific influences each parent brings to the table, each parent can have personality strengths that can have a positive influence on the children, as well.
However, the caveat is that the parents need to be able to negotiate the situation with minimum negative exposure to the children. By that I mean that the parents should do everything possible to get along and play nice in front of the kids (whether the other parent is present or not). Speaking from personal experience, it is very hurtful for a child to be exposed to a constant stream of negativity from one parent about the other parent. That should stay between the parents. As a child I loved both my parents, and I could deal with my dad being far away. But I HATED feeling caught in the middle of their issues.

Now, you make an excellent point about needing to be PRESENT when the kids are there. I totally agree with you there. But the flip side is that when your kids are not with you, you get to have your fun and do whatever you want to do!

I also agree with you 100% about minimizing exposure to a series of romantic relationships that may or may not last. Aside from poor role modeling, it sets the kids up for more emotional loss as they potentially form attachments to individuals that may not remain a part of their lives.

Finally, I would say that unless you have a really compelling reason to ask for 100% placement, you may be setting yourself up for a long, difficult and expensive legal battle. Ask yourself if that is a hill worth dying on. I’ll be honest, when my ex asked for 50%, I balked. I had handled more (though not all) of the care-taking responsibilities until that point and I couldn’t believe he was going to step up and do all of the things he never had to do up to that point because I had done them. Plus, I just felt that, as the mother, the children belonged with me more of the time. I imagine most women feel the same way (although there are clearly exceptions). Anyway, my ex and I spent a LOT of time and money “discussing” that issue, and, at the end of the day, ended up with a 50/50 deal that I firmly believe now is best for ALL of us.

So that’s my $0.02 (ok, more like $2.00), for whatever it’s worth. Good luck. I know it’s not easy.
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