Modification of custody affirmed where mother had notice that custody was an issue and made no objection so she waived any claim.
No error in finding a substantial change of circumstances where mother moved away from father and child and child wished to live primarily with father. Trial court did not have to discuss all the statutory factors – just the pertinent ones.
No error in transferring primary placement where the court considered the children’s wishes, improved grades, mother’s abdication of parenting to her boyfriend who was a drug user and other factors. Any question about validity of ex parte order of the FCC is moot. (Not published, but citable.)
Circuit court lacked the authority under Wis. Stat. §767.451(3) to sua sponte modify the physical placement order. A court cannot modify a placement order in the absence of a petition, motion or order to show cause by a party.
Absent a motion, petition or order to show cause brought by a party, the trial court lacked authority to amend or modify a custody order from joint to sole custody.
Award of primary placement to father reversed as trial court’s opinion of the stability of non-marital relationships based on other paternity cases is not sufficient to support a factual finding that the mother’s specific living situation in this case is unstable.
Parents do not have a fundamental right to equal placement after divorce – state’s regulation of post-divorce custody disputes is constitutional.
Trial court did not err in granting husband the authority to determine the child’ place of school, even though wife had primary physical placement. Trial court appropriate applied Wisconsin statutes. Trial court did not err in finding a substantial change in circumstances where, in addition to the child’s age change, he was failing in school, using marijuana and engaged in other illegal or inappropriate behavior.
Multiple issues. See summary.
Portion of divorce judgment effecting a prospective change in placement is invalid. Trial court lacks statutory authority to order a change of placement that is prospective and contingent on the occurrence of some anticipated event.
Trial court does not have authority to change placement within two years of the initial placement order, absent finding of harm, if the modification would substantially alter the time a parent spends with the child.
Trial court properly applied §767.325 where mother brought removal action and father countered with motion to change placement.
Trial court could modify placement on petition for child abuse injunction. Separate motion under 767.325 not necessary.
Court cannot substantially modify placement within two years unless it finds harmful conditions.
Modification within 2 yrs. requires proof on necessity, that custodial conditions are harmful and physical or emotional harm is severe enough to warrant modification.
(1) No abuse of discretion for refusing to transfer placement to father due to “parental alienation syndrome” (2) No abuse of discretion for revising placement with rigid schedule – any harm to children due to less time with father is outweighed by stability.
Modification after 2 years requires proof of substantial change of circumstances. New joint custody law is not a change in circumstances.
Since modification was within two years of initial order, trial court erred by focusing on best interests of child instead of necessary-to-modify standard.
FCC may intervene in post-judgment custody modification stipulation.
Stipulation is sufficient for change in custody – no hearing or findings of fact are necessary.