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2013 - 2014 LEGISLATURE
May 17, 2013 - Introduced by Representatives Kleefisch, Bernier, Krug, Kestell,
Pridemore, T. Larson, Honadel, Schraa, Knodl, LeMahieu, Nass, Spiros,
Tittl, Petersen, A. Ott, Born and Brooks. Referred to Committee on Family
Law.
AB211,1,3 1An Act to amend 767.41 (4) (a) 2.; and to create 767.41 (5) (am) 5m. of the
2statutes; relating to: a presumption that equalizing physical placement to the
3highest degree is in the child's best interest.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Under current law, in an action affecting the family, such as a divorce or a
paternity action, a court must determine the legal custody of a minor child based on
the best interest of the child. In current law, there is a presumption that joint legal
custody is in the child's best interest. The court also must allocate periods of physical
placement between the parties. The court is required to set a placement schedule
that allows the child to have regularly occurring, meaningful periods of physical
placement with each parent and that maximizes the amount of time the child may
spend with each parent, taking into consideration geographic separation and
accommodations for different households. The court may deny periods of physical
placement with a parent only if the court finds that the physical placement would
endanger the child's physical, mental, or emotional health. When determining
custody and periods of physical placement, the court is required, under current law,
to consider a number of factors (custody and placement factors), such as the wishes
of the child and of the parties, the interaction and interrelationship of the child with
his or her parents, the amount and quality of time that each party has spent with the
child in the past, the child's adjustment to the home, school, and community, and the
cooperation and communication between the parties.
This bill provides that, when the court allocates periods of physical placement,
instead of maximizing the amount of time a child may spend with each parent, taking

into consideration geographic separation and accommodations for different
households, the court must presume that a placement schedule that equalizes to the
highest degree the amount of time the child may spend with each parent is in the
child's best interest. This presumption may be rebutted if the court finds by clear and
convincing evidence, after considering the custody and placement factors, that
equalizing physical placement would not be in the child's best interest. The bill also
makes the geographic separation of the parties an additional custody and placement
factor for the court to consider in every case when determining custody and periods
of physical placement.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
AB211, s. 1 1Section 1. 767.41 (4) (a) 2. of the statutes is amended to read:
AB211,2,122 767.41 (4) (a) 2. In determining the allocation of periods of physical placement,
3the court shall consider each case on the basis of the factors in sub. (5) (am), subject
4to sub. (5) (bm). The court shall set
presume that a placement schedule that allows
5the child to have regularly occurring, meaningful periods of physical placement with
6each parent and that maximizes
equalizes to the highest degree the amount of time
7the child may spend with each parent, taking into account geographic separation and
8accommodations for different households
is in the best interest of the child. The
9presumption under this subdivision is rebutted if the court finds by clear and
10convincing evidence, after considering all of the factors in sub. (5) (am), subject to
11sub. (5) (bm), that equalizing physical placement to the highest degree would not be
12in the child's best interest
.
AB211, s. 2 13Section 2. 767.41 (5) (am) 5m. of the statutes is created to read:
AB211,2,1414 767.41 (5) (am) 5m. The geographic separation of the parties.
AB211, s. 3 15Section 3. Initial applicability.
AB211,3,3
1(1) This act first applies to actions or proceedings, including actions or
2proceedings to modify a judgment or order previously granted, that are commenced
3on the effective date of this subsection.
AB211,3,44 (End)
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