2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
March 22, 2019 - Introduced by
Joint Legislative Council. Referred to Committee
on Family Law.
1An Act to repeal
767.41 (5) (am) 15. and 16.; to amend
767.225 (1) (am), 767.41 2
(5) (am) (intro.), 767.41 (6) (a) and 767.451 (5m) (b); and to repeal and
767.41 (5) (am) 3. to 14. of the statutes; relating to: factors relating
4to the physical placement of a child.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill is explained in the Notes provided by the Joint Legislative Council in
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.
Under current law, a court must set a physical placement schedule that allows a
child to have regularly occurring, meaningful periods of physical placement and that
maximizes the amount of time for a child with each parent. In determining a physical
placement schedule, a court must, in each case, consider a statutory list of best-interest
The bill specifies that if a court grants less than 25% of physical placement to one
parent in a temporary or final order, specific findings of fact must be entered as to the
reason greater physical placement with that parent is not in the best interest of the child.
The bill also reorganizes the statutory best-interest factors, removing two
considerations: the stability in placement and availability of child care services. For the
introduction to the list of factors, the bill specifies that the factors are not necessarily
listed in order of importance.
767.225 (1) (am) of the statutes is amended to read:
(am) Upon the request of a party, granting periods of physical 3
placement to a party in a manner consistent with s. 767.41. The court shall make 4
a determination under this paragraph within 30 days after the request for a 5
temporary order regarding periods of physical placement is filed.
If the court grants
6physical placement to one parent for less than 25 percent of the time, as determined
7under s. 49.22 (9), the court shall enter specific findings of fact as to the reasons that
8a greater allocation of physical placement with that parent is not in the best interests
9of the child.
767.41 (5) (am) (intro.) of the statutes is amended to read:
(am) (intro.) Subject to pars. (bm) and (c), in determining legal 12
custody and periods of physical placement, the court shall consider all facts relevant 13
to the best interest of the child. The court may not prefer one parent or potential 14
custodian over the other on the basis of the sex or race of the parent or potential 15
custodian. Subject to pars. (bm) and (c), the court shall consider
the following 16
factors, which are not necessarily listed in order of importance,
in making its 17
767.41 (5) (am) 3. to 14. of the statutes are repealed and recreated 19
(am) 3. The cooperation and communication between the parties and 21
whether either party unreasonably refuses to cooperate or communicate with the 22
4. Whether each party can support the other party's relationship with the child, 2
including encouraging and facilitating frequent and continuing contact with the 3
child, or whether one party is likely to unreasonably interfere with the child's 4
continuing relationship with the other party.
5. The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his or her siblings, 6
and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interest.
6. The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his or her parent or 8
parents and the amount and quality of time that each parent has spent with the child 9
in the past, any necessary changes to the parents' custodial roles, and any reasonable 10
lifestyle changes that a parent proposes to make to maximize placement with the 11
7. Whether any of the following has or had a significant problem with alcohol 13
or drug abuse:
b. A person with whom a parent of the child has a dating relationship, as 16
defined in s. 813.12 (1) (ag).
c. A person who resides, has resided, or will reside regularly or intermittently 18
in a proposed custodial household.
8. The child's adjustment to the home, school, religion, and community.
9. The age of the child and the child's developmental and educational needs at 21
10. Whether the mental or physical health of a party, minor child, or other 23
person living in a proposed custodial household negatively affects the child's 24
intellectual, physical, or emotional well-being.
11. Whether any of the following has a criminal record or whether there is 2
evidence that any of the following has engaged in abuse, as defined in s. 813.122 (1) 3
(a), of the child or any other child or neglected the child or any other child:
b. A person with whom a parent of the child has a dating relationship, as 6
defined in s. 813.12 (1) (ag).
c. A person who resides, has resided, or will reside regularly or intermittently 8
in a proposed custodial household.
12. Whether there is evidence of interspousal battery, as described under s. 10
940.19 or 940.20 (1m), or domestic abuse, as defined in s. 813.12 (1) (am).
13. The reports of appropriate professionals if admitted into evidence.
14. Any other factor that the court determines to be relevant.
767.41 (5) (am) 15. and 16. of the statutes are repealed.
767.41 (6) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) If legal custody or physical placement is contested, the court shall 16
state in writing why its findings relating to legal custody or physical placement are 17
in the best interest of the child. If the court grants physical placement to one parent
18for less than 25 percent of the time, as determined under s. 49.22 (9), the court shall
19enter specific findings of fact as to the reasons that a greater allocation of physical
20placement with that parent is not in the best interests of the child.
767.451 (5m) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
(b) In determining the best interest of the child under this 23
section, in addition to the factor under s. 767.41 (5) (am) 12m. 11.
, the court shall 24
consider whether a stepparent of the child has a criminal record and whether there
is evidence that a stepparent of the child has engaged in abuse, as defined in s. 2
813.122 (1) (a), of the child or any other child or neglected the child or any other child.
(1) This act first applies to an order regarding physical placement issued on the 5
effective date of this subsection.
This act takes effect on the first day of the 7th month beginning after 8