The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
Joint Legislative Council prefatory note: This bill was prepared for the Joint
Legislative Council's Study Committee on Child Placement and Support. The bill adopts
the Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act (UDPCVA), by the Uniform
Law Commission, to provide a process and standards for a temporary delegation of
custodial responsibilities when a parent is deployed in military or other national service.
A description of current law and a summary of the bill's key provisions are provided below.
Under current law, in a legal custody determination, a court is prohibited from
considering whether a service member has been or will be absent from the home for a call
to active duty. In a physical placement determination, a court may allocate a service
member's physical placement periods to the other parent for the service member's call to
active duty, if the order requires immediate reinstatement of the prior physical placement
schedule upon the service member's return.
Additionally, under current law, parents may together sign a power of attorney for
a temporary delegation of parental powers for the care and custody of a child to another
person. However, as stated in a Wisconsin Court of Appeals decision, a court has no
authority to delegate a service member's allocation of physical placement periods to
another person without the other parent's agreement. [Lubinski v. Lubinski, 2008 WI
This bill maintains the current law provisions relating to determining or revising
a legal custody or physical placement order between the parents but creates a new
standard for temporary arrangements with another person during a parent's
deployment. Specifically, the bill provides two methods for creating a temporary
delegation of custodial responsibilities during deployment: a temporary agreement
between the parents or a temporary court order following a hearing.
Under a temporary agreement entered into by the parents, custodial
responsibilities or visitation may be shared with any agreed-upon person. The
agreement must identify the specific arrangements for custodial responsibility or
visitation, a process to resolve any dispute that may arise, and arrangements for the
deploying parent's contact with the child during the deployment and while on leave.
The temporary agreement must be signed by both parents and any other person
with whom custodial responsibility is shared, and, if the child is the subject of an
underlying action affecting the family, the agreement must be filed with the court that
has jurisdiction in that action.
Under proceedings for a temporary court order, unless a proceeding is prohibited
by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, custodial responsibilities or visitation may be
granted upon a deploying parent's request to a stepparent, grandparent, or
great-grandparent or to an adult who has a parent-like relationship with the child. The
arrangements must be found to be in the best interests of the child, using the
best-interest factors identified in current state law for legal custody and physical
placement determinations, placing particular emphasis on maintaining sibling
Under the bill, a delegation of physical placement periods cannot be greater than
a child's habitual or court-ordered physical placement with the deploying parent unless
otherwise agreed to by the other parent or as needed to add any unusual travel time.
Additionally, a delegation of custodial responsibilities or visitation cannot be granted to
a person who was previously denied those rights.
Similar to a temporary agreement, a temporary court order must identify the
specific arrangements for custodial responsibility or visitation, a process to resolve any
dispute that may arise, and arrangements for the deploying parent's contact with the
child during the deployment and while on leave. If a court issues a temporary order, or
a temporary agreement has been filed, a court may enter a temporary order for child
When a court receives a motion for a temporary delegation of custodial
responsibilities during deployment, the court must conduct a hearing within 30 days and
must allow a parent or other person to appear by electronic means if the person is not
available to personally appear, unless there is good cause to require a personal
The bill applies to a service member who is deployed between 30 days and 18
months in accordance with service orders that are designated as unaccompanied, do not
authorize dependent travel, or otherwise do not permit movement of a child to the
location. As applied in the bill, service may include service in: the U.S. armed forces,
including any reserve component; the national guard of any state; the merchant marine;
the commissioned corps of the U.S. Public Health Service; or the commissioned corps of
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
To begin the process, if a parent receives a deployment order, the parent must
provide notice of the deployment to the other parent within seven days or as soon as
reasonably possible if prevented from giving notice within seven days by the
circumstances of the deployment. As soon as reasonably possible after providing the
notice, the parents must provide each other with a plan for fulfilling their respective
shares of custodial responsibility during the deployment. If a parent's address is
confidential, under a court order, the documents must be submitted to the court for
The bill specifies that temporary arrangements under either an agreement or court
order terminate immediately upon the return of a deploying parent, if the deployment is
for less than six months, 30 days after the return of a deploying parent, if the deployment
is for six months or more, or on a date that is specified by stipulation by the parties or a
If a parent has acted in bad faith or intentionally failed to comply with a temporary
court order or other requirement under these provisions, the bill specifies that a court
may assess reasonable attorney fees and costs and may order other appropriate relief.
The bill asks the Wisconsin Court Records Management Committee to develop a
form that parents may use to enter into an agreement, and a form to file a motion with
a court, for a temporary delegation of custodial responsibilities for a child during a
Chapter 324 of the statutes is created to read:
custody and visitation
7324.01 Short title.
This chapter may be cited as the Uniform Deployed 8
Parents Custody and Visitation Act.
In this chapter:
“Adult" means an individual who has attained 18 years of age or who is an 11
“Child" means any of the following:
(a) An individual who has not attained 18 years of age and who is not an 3
(b) An adult son or daughter by birth or adoption, or under the law of this state 5
other than this chapter, who is the subject of a court order concerning custodial 6
“Court" means a tribunal, including an administrative agency, that is 8
authorized under the law of this state other than this chapter to make, enforce, or 9
modify a decision regarding custodial responsibility.
“Custodial responsibility" includes physical placement, legal custody, and 11
“Deployed" means subject to a deployment.
“Deploying parent" means a service member who is deployed, or who has 14
been notified of impending deployment, and who is any of the following:
(a) A parent of a child under the law of this state other than this chapter.
(b) An individual who has custodial responsibility for a child under the law of 17
this state other than this chapter.
“Deployment" means the movement or mobilization of a service member for 19
more than 30 days but less than 18 months in accordance with service orders that 20
are designated as unaccompanied, do not authorize dependent travel, or otherwise 21
do not permit the movement of a child to the location to which the service member 22
“Emancipated minor" has the meaning given in s. 48.375 (2) (e).
“Family member" means a grandparent, great-grandparent, or stepparent.
“Legal custody” has the meaning given in s. 767.001 (2).
“Nonparent" means an individual other than a deploying parent or other 2
“Other parent" means an individual who, in common with a deploying 4
parent, is any of the following:
(a) A parent of a child under the law of this state other than this chapter.
(b) An individual who has custodial responsibility for a child under the law of 7
this state other than this chapter.
“Physical placement” has the meaning given in s. 767.001 (5).
“Record" means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that 10
is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form.
“Return from deployment" means the conclusion of a service member's 12
deployment as specified in service orders.
“Service member" means a member of any of the following:
(a) The U.S. armed forces, including any reserve component.
(b) The merchant marine.
(c) The commissioned corps of the U.S. public health service.
(d) The commissioned corps of the national oceanic and atmospheric 18
(e) The national guard of any state.
“Sign" means to do any of the following with present intent to authenticate 21
or adopt a record:
(a) Execute or adopt a tangible symbol.
(b) Attach to or logically associate with the record an electronic symbol, sound, 24
“State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the 2
commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or 3
possession of the United States.
“Visitation” means rights conferred to an individual to reasonable 5
visitation with a child in accordance with s. 767.43.
6324.03 Remedies for noncompliance.
In addition to other remedies under 7
the law of this state other than this chapter, if a court finds that a party to a 8
proceeding under this chapter has acted in bad faith or intentionally failed to comply 9
with this chapter or a court order issued under this chapter, the court may assess 10
reasonable attorney fees and costs against the party and order other appropriate 11
12324.04 Jurisdiction. (1)
A court may issue an order regarding custodial 13
responsibility under this chapter only if the court has jurisdiction under ch. 822.
If a court has issued a temporary order regarding custodial responsibility 15
under subch. III, the residence of the deploying parent is not changed by reason of 16
the deployment for purposes of ch. 822 during the deployment.
If a court has issued a permanent order regarding custodial responsibility 18
before notice of deployment and the parents modify that order temporarily by 19
agreement under subch. II, the residence of the deploying parent is not changed by 20
reason of the deployment for purposes of ch. 822.
If a court in another state has issued a temporary order regarding custodial 22
responsibility as a result of impending or current deployment, the residence of the 23
deploying parent is not changed by reason of the deployment for purposes of ch. 822.
This section does not prevent a court from exercising temporary emergency 25
jurisdiction under s. 822.24.
1324.05 Notification required by deploying parent. (1)
Except as provided 2
in sub. (4) and subject to sub. (3), a deploying parent shall, in a record, notify the other 3
parent of a pending deployment not later than 7 days after the deploying parent 4
receives notice of deployment unless reasonably prevented from doing so by the 5
circumstances of deployment. If the circumstances of deployment prevent giving 6
notification within the 7 days, the deploying parent shall give the notification as soon 7
as reasonably possible.
Except as provided in sub. (4) and subject to sub. (3), the deploying parent 9
and the other parent shall, in a record, provide each other with a plan for fulfilling 10
their respective shares of custodial responsibility during deployment. Each parent 11
shall provide the plan as soon as reasonably possible after the deploying parent gives 12
notification of deployment under sub. (1).
If a court order currently in effect prohibits disclosure of the address or 14
contact information of the other parent, notification of deployment under sub. (1) or 15
notification by the deploying parent of a plan for custodial responsibility during 16
deployment under sub. (2) may be made only to the issuing court. If the address of 17
the other parent is available to the issuing court, the court shall forward the 18
notification to the other parent. The court shall keep confidential the address or 19
contact information of the other parent.
Notification in a record under sub. (1) or (2) is not required if the parents 21
are living in the same residence and both parents have actual notice of the 22
deployment or plan.
In a proceeding regarding custodial responsibility, a court may consider the 24
reasonableness of a parent's efforts to comply with this section.
1324.06 Duty to notify of change of address. (1)
Except as provided in sub. 2
(2), an individual to whom custodial responsibility has been granted during 3
deployment under subch. II or III shall, until the grant is terminated, notify all of the 4
following of any change in the individual's mailing address or residence:
(a) The deploying parent.
(b) Any other individual with custodial responsibility for the child.
(c) Any court that has issued a custody or child support order concerning the 8
child that is in effect.
If a court order currently in effect prohibits disclosure of the address or 10
contact information of an individual to whom custodial responsibility has been 11
granted, a notification under sub. (1) may be made only to the court that issued the 12
order. The court shall keep confidential the mailing address or residence of the 13
individual to whom custodial responsibility has been granted.
AGREEMENT FOR CUSTODIAL16
RESPONSIBILITY DURING DEPLOYMENT
17324.21 Form of agreement.
The parents of a child may enter into a 18
temporary agreement under this subchapter granting custodial responsibility 19
An agreement under sub. (1) shall be in writing and signed by both parents 21
and any nonparent to whom custodial responsibility is granted.
Subject to sub. (4), an agreement under sub. (1) shall, if feasible, do all of 23
(a) Identify the destination, duration, and conditions of the deployment that 25
is the basis for the agreement.
(b) Specify the allocation of physical placement and legal custody among the 2
deploying parent, the other parent, and any nonparent.
(d) Specify any visitation rights of a nonparent.
(e) If, under the agreement, custodial responsibility is shared by 2 or more 5
individuals, provide a process to resolve any dispute that may arise.
(f) Specify the frequency, duration, and means, including electronic means, by 7
which the deploying parent may have contact with the child, any role to be played 8
by the other parent or by a nonparent in facilitating the contact, and the allocation 9
of any costs of contact.
(g) Specify the contact between the deploying parent and child during the time 11
that the deploying parent is on leave or is otherwise available.
(h) Acknowledge that any party's child support obligation cannot be modified 13
by the agreement and that changing the terms of the obligation during deployment 14
requires modification in the appropriate court.