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changing child custody


POST JUDGMENT REVISIONS: “The Two Year Rule”

The two year rule refers to Wisconsin Statutory Law, Section 767.44. Basically, the rule applies to post-judgment motions for substantial revisions in physical placement or legal custody orders. A party seeking a substantial modification within two years must show by substantial evidence that the revision is necessary because the current custodial conditions are physically or emotionally harmful to the child.

This represents a difficult burden and substantial bar to substantial revisions within the first two years following the entry of judgment. The stated purpose of the law is to provide a “quiet down period” with respect to custody and placement issues post divorce.

The lesson here is to ensure that you attain a custody/placement order that you find acceptable and in the best interest of your child in the original action.

This is not to say that substantial revisions within the first two years are prohibited. However, such revisions do require substantial evidence and effective advocacy to achieve the desired result.

After the passage of two years the standard reverts to the best interests of the child. A moving party must also show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the entry of the last order. Mere changes in economic or marital status are not sufficient bases to seek a revision.

There is also a rebuttable presumption that the current custody/ placement arrangement is in the best interest of the child. This presumption affords the non-moving party an advantage in post-judgment motions.

The complexity of the law and the need to develop and apply facts and evidence either in support of or opposition to a post-judgment motion requires the assistance of an experienced effective advocate.

Contact Riley Law Office

If Attorney Tim Riley can be of assistance to you with your legal situation, please call Riley Law Office for a free initial consultation at (608) 833-3880 or email Attorney Riley. Attorney Riley will be happy to speak with you with no obligation on your part.


Free Initial Consultation

If I may be of assistance to you and help you with your legal situation, please contact me at (608) 833-3880. I will happy to speak with you with no obligation on your part.

"I also believe that when hiring an attorney, particularly with regard to family law, it is essential that a prospective client have an opportunity to meet and discuss their case with that attorney. It is for this reason that I offer a free no obligation one half hour consultation. A client who is going to entrust an attorney with their most personal and important legal needs should have the opportunity to meet that attorney without opening their purse or wallet."

"I also sincerely believe that a client deserves thorough and effective advocacy and representation at a fair and reasonable cost. As such, I have maintained a very competitive retainer and fee schedule over the course of my 23 years of practice."

Respectfully yours,

Timothy S. Riley
Attorney at Law
Riley Law Offices
6502 Grand Teton Plaza Suite 103
Madison, WI 53719
T: (608) 833-3880
F: 608.662.5997
E: Attorney Riley


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