Can a Wisconsin court vacate a stipulation I agreed to? | Sterling Law Offices, S.C. global $post;
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– from Victor E. in Elm Grove, WI

Question Details:

My ex-wife and I agreed to a stipulation during our divorce concerning custody. I received custody of both children and she was awarded maintenance. After a year, I let the children go live with her. We went back to court and agreed to a stipulated order stating that custody would go to her. They have lived with her for a few months and now she is taking me to court for child support, too. Can I make a motion to vacate the stipulated order?

Family Law Attorney Response:

You can make a motion, but it would be very difficult to convince the court to vacate the child custody stipulation.

When you entered into the stipulation to maintain custody, the court agreed that this arrangement was in the children’s best interest. When you entered into a revised stipulation stating the children are best with their mother, you agreed that this change was in the children’s best interest. I do not see the court agreeing that the children’s best interest would be upheld in lieu of avoiding support payments, which seems to be the desire to vacate the agreement. This is seen in the case of Luhman v. Beecher 144 Wis. 2d 781, 424 N.W.2d 753 (Ct. App. 1988). A father who had reversed the stipulated order of custody to the mother also attempted to vacate the stipulated order when she petitioned for support. The trial court denied the father’s motion to vacate. The court of appeals affirmed.

My advice would be to contact a family law attorney to discuss your options.

Lawyer Jeff Hughes from Sterling Law Offices, S.C.
Jeff Hughes, J.D.

Managing Partner

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