In an ideal situation, two parties to a custody agreement would honor the agreement and recognize that ongoing contact with both parents is in the child’s best interests. However, not every situation is ideal, and instances may arise in which one parent chooses to deny the other his or her visitation rights.

If your child’s other parent withholds visitation or custody without good cause, you may wonder if Wisconsin law provides remedies. In most cases, the answer is yes.

Who may file a motion for the enforcement of physical placement?

According to the Wisconsin State Legislature, there are three instances in which you may file a motion for the enforcement of physical placement. Those are as follows:

  • The other parent denied you one or more periods of physical placement.
  • The other parent substantially interfered with your custodial time on one or more occasions.
  • As a result of the other parent’s intentional failure to abide by the court order, you incurred unnecessary expenses or a financial loss.

If one or more of the above applies, a judge may hear your motion and grant remedies.

What remedies are available to you?

If the courts decide that you have a case, it will schedule a hearing no later than 30 days after the date you file your motion. If, at the conclusion of the hearing, the judge determines that the other party intentionally and unreasonably interfered with your time with your child, it may issue one or all of three remedies.

The first remedy involves issuing an order that grants you periods of custody to make up for time lost. In this case, the judge may also hold the offending party accountable for all attorney and court fees.

The second remedy involves holding the offending party in contempt of court. The judge may do this if the custodial interference occurs so regularly that you cannot pinpoint a specified timeframe. The judge may also order an injunction against the other parent.

The third and final remedy involves financial recovery. If the other party’s interference resulted in a financial loss on your part, the judge may order him or her to pay you a sum sufficient to cover the loss.