In multi-state custody cases, when does WI have jurisdiction? | Sterling Law Offices, S.C. global $post;
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– from Philip Z. in St. Francis, WI

Question Details:

My ex-wife agreed to a stipulated divorce order involving custody. We agreed that she could move out of state with the kids. She would get custody, and I would have summer vacations. During the first summer vacation, she informed me that the kids would not be coming. She said that since she lives in another state, Wisconsin no longer has jurisdiction over the matter. She said that she does not have to honor the stipulation. Who has jurisdiction?

Family Law Attorney Response:

More than likely, Wisconsin still has jurisdiction over the case due to the stipulation having been made in a Wisconsin court. More than that, it was a joint agreement made by both of you and approved by the court in Wisconsin. It is a discretionary matter overall, but I believe that Wisconsin will, in fact, maintain jurisdiction.

Learn more about a temporary custody for your children here.

We can find a similar case in J.W. v. M.W.G. (In re Paternity of J.L.V.) 145 Wis. 2d 308, 426 N.W.2d 112 (Ct. App. 1988). Here, the father took the children by stipulation to Texas. The mother was to receive visitation. He also refused because he felt Wisconsin no longer held jurisdiction. The court ruled that they had jurisdiction. The father appealed, and the court of appeals affirmed.

You should contact an attorney to discuss the finer points of your situation right away.

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

Managing Partner

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