Governor signs Custody/Placement Modifications Bill

Under current law, a court cannot modify an order for legal custody or physical placement of a child that would substantially alter the child’s time with each parent within two years of the final judgment, unless custodial conditions are physically or emotionally harmful to the best interests of the child.

This Act authorizes a court to approve a stipulated agreement between the parties in an action affecting the family for modifications to legal custody or physical placement of a child upon the occurrence of life events of the adult parties or child, or developmental and educational needs of the child, that are reasonably certain to occur within two years of the date of the stipulation.

The bill authorizes the court to approve such a stipulation if it is filed in an action initially determining, modifying, or revising a legal custody and physical placement order. The bill prohibits stipulated agreements between the parties that are based on anticipated behavior modifications by a party, such as completion of an anger management course, drug or alcohol therapy, or a term of imprisonment, parole, or probation.

The legislation was created by a Legislative Council Study Committee on Child Placement and Support in 2018. CFLCW Member Tiffany Highstrom, JD of Madison served on the Study Committee.

Now Act 20 – Text available here.