12822.26 Simultaneous proceedings. (1)
Except as provided in s. 822.24, a 13
court of this state may not exercise its jurisdiction under this subchapter if, at the 14
time of the commencement of the proceeding, a proceeding concerning the custody 15
of the child has been commenced in a court of another state having jurisdiction 16
substantially in conformity with this chapter, unless the proceeding has been 17
terminated or is stayed by the court of the other state because a court of this state 18
is a more convenient forum under s. 822.27.
Except as provided in s. 822.24, a court of this state, before hearing a child 20
custody proceeding, shall examine the court documents and other information 21
supplied by the parties under s. 822.29. If the court determines that a child custody 22
proceeding has been commenced in a court in another state having jurisdiction 23
substantially in accordance with this chapter, the court of this state shall stay its 24
proceeding and communicate with the court of the other state. If the court of the state 25
having jurisdiction substantially in accordance with this chapter does not determine
that the court of this state is a more appropriate forum, the court of this state shall 2
dismiss the proceeding.
In a proceeding to modify a child custody determination, a court of this state 4
shall determine whether a proceeding to enforce the determination has been 5
commenced in another state. If a proceeding to enforce a child custody determination 6
has been commenced in another state, the court may do any of the following:
(a) Stay the proceeding for modification pending the entry of an order of a court 8
of the other state enforcing, staying, denying, or dismissing the proceeding for 9
(b) Enjoin the parties from continuing with the proceeding for enforcement.
(c) Proceed with the modification under conditions it considers appropriate.
12822.27 Inconvenient forum. (1)
A court of this state that has jurisdiction 13
under this chapter to make a child custody determination may decline to exercise its 14
jurisdiction at any time if it determines that it is an inconvenient forum under the 15
circumstances and that a court of another state is a more appropriate forum. The 16
issue of inconvenient forum may be raised upon the motion of a party, the court's own 17
motion, or the request of another court.
Before determining whether it is an inconvenient forum, a court of this state 19
shall consider whether it is appropriate for a court of another state to exercise 20
jurisdiction. For this purpose, the court shall allow the parties to submit information 21
and shall consider all relevant factors, including all of the following:
(a) Whether domestic violence has occurred and is likely to continue in the 23
future and which state could best protect the parties and the child.
(b) The length of time that the child has resided outside this state.
(c) The distance between the court in this state and the court in the state that 2
would assume jurisdiction.
(d) The relative financial circumstances of the parties.
(e) Any agreement of the parties as to which state should assume jurisdiction.
(f) The nature and location of the evidence required to resolve the pending 6
litigation, including testimony of the child.
(g) The ability of the court of each state to decide the issue expeditiously and 8
the procedures necessary to present the evidence.
(h) The familiarity of the court of each state with the facts and issues in the 10
If a court of this state determines that it is an inconvenient forum and that 12
a court of another state is a more appropriate forum, the court shall stay the 13
proceedings upon condition that a child custody proceeding be promptly commenced 14
in another designated state and may impose any other condition that the court 15
considers just and proper.
A court of this state may decline to exercise its jurisdiction under this 17
chapter if a child custody determination is incidental to an action for divorce or 18
another proceeding while still retaining jurisdiction over the divorce or other 19
20822.28 Jurisdiction declined by reason of conduct. (1)
Except as 21
provided in s. 822.24, if a court of this state has jurisdiction under this chapter 22
because a person seeking to invoke its jurisdiction has engaged in unjustifiable 23
conduct, the court shall decline to exercise its jurisdiction unless any of the following 24
(a) The parents and all persons acting as parents have acquiesced in the 2
exercise of jurisdiction.
(b) A court of the state otherwise having jurisdiction under ss. 822.21 to 822.23 4
determines that this state is a more appropriate forum under s. 822.27.
(c) No court of any other state would have jurisdiction under the criteria 6
specified in ss. 822.21 to 822.23.
If a court of this state declines to exercise its jurisdiction under sub. (1), it 8
may fashion an appropriate remedy to ensure the safety of the child and prevent a 9
repetition of the unjustifiable conduct, including staying the proceeding until a child 10
custody proceeding is commenced in a court having jurisdiction under ss. 822.21 to 11
If a court dismisses a petition or stays a proceeding because it declines to 13
exercise its jurisdiction under sub. (1), it shall assess against the party seeking to 14
invoke its jurisdiction necessary and reasonable expenses including costs, 15
communication expenses, attorney fees, investigative fees, expenses for witnesses, 16
travel expenses, and expenses for child care during the course of the proceedings, 17
unless the party from whom fees are sought establishes that the assessment would 18
be clearly inappropriate. The court may not assess fees, costs, or expenses against 19
this state unless authorized by law other than this chapter.
20822.29 Information to be submitted to court. (1)
In a child custody 21
proceeding, each party, in its first pleading or in an attached affidavit, shall give 22
information, if reasonably ascertainable, under oath as to the child's present address 23
or whereabouts, the places where the child has lived during the last 5 years, and the 24
names and present addresses of the persons with whom the child has lived during 25
that period. The pleading or affidavit shall state whether the party:
(a) Has participated, as a party or witness or in any other capacity, in any other 2
proceeding concerning the custody of or physical placement or visitation with the 3
child and, if so, shall identify the court, the case number, and the date of the child 4
custody determination, if any.
(b) Knows of any proceeding that could affect the current proceeding, including 6
proceedings for enforcement and proceedings relating to domestic violence, 7
protective orders, termination of parental rights, and adoptions and, if so, shall 8
identify the court, the case number, and the nature of the proceeding.
(c) Knows the names and addresses of any person not a party to the proceeding 10
who has physical custody of the child or claims rights of legal custody or physical 11
custody of, or physical placement or visitation with, the child and, if so, the names 12
and addresses of those persons.
If the information required by sub. (1) is not furnished, the court, upon 14
motion of a party or its own motion, may stay the proceeding until the information 15
If the declaration as to any of the items described in sub. (1) (a) to (c) is in 17
the affirmative, the declarant shall give additional information under oath as 18
required by the court. The court may examine the parties under oath as to details 19
of the information furnished and other matters pertinent to the court's jurisdiction 20
and the disposition of the case.
Each party has a continuing duty to inform the court of any proceeding in 22
this or any other state that could affect the current proceeding.
If a party alleges in an affidavit or a pleading under oath that the health, 24
safety, or liberty of a party or child would be jeopardized by disclosure of identifying 25
information, the information shall be sealed and may not be disclosed to the other
party or the public unless the court orders the disclosure to be made after a hearing 2
in which the court takes into consideration the health, safety, or liberty of the party 3
or child and determines that the disclosure is in the interest of justice.
4822.295 Appearance of parties and child. (1)
In a child custody proceeding 5
in this state, the court may order a party to the proceeding who is in this state to 6
appear before the court in person with or without the child. The court may order any 7
person who is in this state and who has physical custody or control of the child to 8
appear in person with the child.
If a party to a child custody proceeding whose presence is desired by the 10
court is outside this state, the court may order that a notice given under s. 822.08 11
include a statement directing the party to appear in person with or without the child 12
and informing the party that failure to appear may result in a decision adverse to the 13
The court may enter any orders necessary to ensure the safety of the child 15
and of any person ordered to appear under this section.
If a party to a child custody proceeding who is outside this state is directed 17
to appear under sub. (2) or desires to appear personally before the court with or 18
without the child, the court may require another party to pay reasonable and 19
necessary travel and other expenses of the party so appearing and of the child.
In this subchapter:
"Judicial day" means each day except Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday 24
under s. 895.20.
"Petitioner" means a person who seeks enforcement of an order for the 2
return of a child under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International 3
Child Abduction or enforcement of a child custody determination.
"Respondent" means a person against whom a proceeding has been 5
commenced for enforcement of an order for the return of a child under the Hague 6
Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or enforcement of 7
a child custody determination.
8822.32 Enforcement under Hague Convention.
Under this subchapter, a 9
court of this state may enforce an order for the return of the child made under the 10
Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction as if it were 11
a child custody determination.
12822.33 Duty to enforce. (1)
A court of this state shall recognize and enforce 13
a child custody determination of a court of another state if the latter court exercised 14
jurisdiction in substantial conformity with this chapter or the determination was 15
made under factual circumstances meeting the jurisdictional standards of this 16
chapter and the determination has not been modified in accordance with this 17
A court of this state may utilize any remedy available under other law of 19
this state to enforce a child custody determination made by a court of another state. 20
The remedies provided in this subchapter are cumulative and do not affect the 21
availability of other remedies to enforce a child custody determination
22822.34 Temporary physical placement or visitation. (1)
A court of this 23
state that does not have jurisdiction to modify a child custody determination may 24
issue a temporary order enforcing any of the following:
(a) A physical placement or visitation schedule made by a court of another 2
(b) The physical placement or visitation provisions of a child custody 4
determination of another state that does not provide for a specific physical placement 5
or visitation schedule.
If a court of this state makes an order under sub. (1) (b), it shall specify in 7
the order a period that it considers adequate to allow the petitioner to obtain an order 8
from a court having jurisdiction under the criteria specified in subch. II. The order 9
remains in effect until an order is obtained from the other court or until the period 10
11822.35 Registration of child custody determination. (1)
A child custody 12
determination issued by a court of another state may be registered in this state, with 13
or without a simultaneous request for enforcement, by sending to the office of the 14
clerk of any circuit court in this state all of the following:
(a) A letter or other document requesting registration.
(b) Two copies, including one certified copy, of the determination sought to be 17
registered, and a statement under penalty of perjury that to the best of the 18
knowledge and belief of the person seeking registration the determination has not 19
(c) Except as provided in s. 822.29, the name and address of the person seeking 21
registration and any parent or person acting as a parent who has been awarded 22
custody, physical placement, or visitation in the child custody determination sought 23
to be registered.
On receipt of the documents required by sub. (1), the registering court shall 25
do all of the following:
(a) Cause the determination to be filed as a foreign judgment, together with one 2
copy of any accompanying documents and information, regardless of their form.
(b) Serve notice upon the persons named under sub. (1) (c) and provide them 4
with an opportunity to contest the registration in accordance with this section.
The notice required by sub. (2) (b) shall state all of the following:
(a) That a registered determination is enforceable as of the date of the 7
registration in the same manner as a determination issued by a court of this state.
(b) That a hearing to contest the validity of the registered determination shall 9
be requested within 20 days after service of the notice.
(c) That failure to contest the registration will result in confirmation of the child 11
custody determination and preclude further contest of that determination with 12
respect to any matter that could have been asserted.
A person seeking to contest the validity of a registered determination shall 14
request a hearing within 20 days after service of the notice. At that hearing, the court 15
shall confirm the registered determination unless the person contesting registration 16
establishes any of the following:
(a) The issuing court did not have jurisdiction under subch. II.
(b) The child custody determination sought to be registered has been vacated, 19
stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction to do so under subch. II.
(c) The person contesting registration was entitled to notice, but notice was not 21
given in accordance with the standards of s. 822.08 in the proceedings before the 22
court that issued the determination for which registration is sought.
If a timely request for a hearing to contest the validity of the registration 24
is not made, the registration is confirmed as a matter of law and the person 25
requesting registration and all persons served must be notified of the confirmation.
Confirmation of a registered determination, whether by operation of law or 2
after notice and hearing, precludes further contest of the determination with respect 3
to any matter that could have been asserted at the time of registration.
4822.36 Enforcement of registered determination. (1)
A court of this state 5
may grant any relief normally available under the law of this state to enforce a 6
registered child custody determination made by a court of another state.
A court of this state shall recognize and enforce, but may not modify, except 8
in accordance with subch. II, a registered child custody determination of a court of 9
10822.37 Simultaneous proceedings.
If a proceeding for enforcement under 11
this subchapter is commenced in a court of this state and the court determines that 12
a proceeding to modify the determination is pending in a court of another state 13
having jurisdiction to modify the determination under subch. II, the enforcing court 14
shall immediately communicate with the modifying court. The proceeding for 15
enforcement continues unless the enforcing court, after consultation with the 16
modifying court, stays or dismisses the proceeding.
17822.38 Expedited enforcement of child custody determination. (1)
petition under this subchapter must be verified. Certified copies of all orders sought 19
to be enforced and any order confirming registration must be attached to the petition. 20
A copy of a certified copy of an order may be attached instead of the original.
A petition for enforcement of a child custody determination shall state all 22
of the following:
(a) Whether the court that issued the determination identified the 24
jurisdictional basis it relied upon in exercising jurisdiction and, if so, what the basis 25
(b) Whether the determination for which enforcement is sought has been 2
vacated, stayed, or modified by a court whose decision shall be enforced under this 3
chapter and, if so, shall identify the court, the case number, and the nature of the 4
(c) Whether any proceeding has been commenced that could affect the current 6
proceeding, including proceedings relating to domestic violence, protective orders, 7
determination of parental rights, and adoptions and, if so, shall identify the court, 8
the case number, and the nature of the proceeding.
(d) The present physical address of the child and the respondent, if known.
(e) Whether relief, in addition to the immediate physical custody of the child 11
and attorney fees is sought, including a request for assistance from law enforcement 12
officials and, if so, the relief sought.
(f) If the child custody determination has been registered and confirmed under 14
s. 822.35, the date and place of registration.
Upon the filing of a petition, the court shall issue an order directing the 16
respondent to appear in person with or without the child at a hearing and may enter 17
any order necessary to ensure the safety of the parties and the child. The hearing 18
shall be held on the next judicial day after service of the order unless that date is 19
impossible. In that event, the court shall hold the hearing on the first judicial day 20
possible. The court may extend the date of hearing at the request of the petitioner.
An order issued under sub. (3) shall state the time and place of the hearing 22
and advise the respondent that at the hearing the court will order that the petitioner 23
may take immediate physical custody of the child and the payment of costs, fees, and 24
expenses under s. 822.42, and the court may schedule a hearing to determine
whether further relief is appropriate, unless the respondent appears and establishes 2
one of the following:
(a) The child custody determination has not been registered and confirmed 4
under s. 822.35 and any of the following:
1. The issuing court did not have jurisdiction under subch. II.
2. The child custody determination for which enforcement is sought has been 7
vacated, stayed, or modified by a court having jurisdiction to do so under subch. II.
3. The respondent was entitled to notice, but notice was not given in accordance 9
with the standards of s. 822.08 in the proceedings before the court that issued the 10
order for which enforcement is sought.
(b) The child custody determination for which enforcement is sought was 12
registered and confirmed under s. 822.35, but has been vacated, stayed, or modified 13
by a court of a state having jurisdiction to do so under subch. II.
14822.39 Service of petition and order.
Except as provided in s. 822.41, the 15
petition and order must be served, by any method authorized by the laws of this state, 16
upon the respondent and any person who has physical custody of the child.
17822.40 Hearing and order. (1)
Unless the court issues a temporary 18
emergency order under s. 822.24, upon a finding that a petitioner is entitled to 19
immediate physical custody of the child, the court shall order that the petitioner may 20
take immediate physical custody of the child unless the respondent establishes one 21
of the following:
(a) The child custody determination has not been registered and confirmed 23
under s. 822.35 and any of the following:
1. The issuing court did not have jurisdiction under subch. II.
2. The child custody determination for which enforcement is sought has been 2
vacated, stayed, or modified by a court of a state having jurisdiction to do so under 3
3. The respondent was entitled to notice, but notice was not given in accordance 5
with the standards of s. 822.08 in the proceedings before the court that issued the 6
order for which enforcement is sought.