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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 28813
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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My wife and I have lived in Wisconsin for 11 years and own

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My wife and I have lived in Wisconsin for 11 years and own a business and home here. She has talked about being homesick for Indiana and this past weekend told me she and the kids were going to visit her parents in Indiana for 5 days. Now that she is there she called and said they are staying there and I could join them if I want but she wants to live by her parents. Because I own a business and home here, it is impossible for me to move. Can she move the kids out of the state of Wisconsin against my wishes?

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

Legally, if there is not a custody order in place, either parent may move with the children, even if it means crossing state lines. Parental kidnapping laws do not apply where there is no court order granting one parent custody over the other.

She is not permitted to file for divorce in Indiana unless she has been living there for at least 6 months. That means that you would have the option of filing for divorce in Wisconsin, and including a request for a Temporary Order granting you custody of the children while the divorce is pending. You would also be able to ask the judge to order that the two of you go to counseling as part of the process; however, he has discretion to deny the request if one of the spouses is determined that counseling will not save the marriage.

In deciding custody, what the judge is looking for is what is in the best interests of the children. That is based on a variety of factors, including your age and health, your ability to support children, your ability to parent, your relationship with the children, the child's wishes (weighted depending on age), the living situation in each place, schools, whether either of you has a history of child abuse, drug or alcohol abuse or a violent criminal history, and whatever other information the judge finds relevant. The fact that she picked up and moved the children out of state without consulting you actually weighs against her.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.
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