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Legal Statutes: Wisconsin

UPDATED August 7, 2017

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Subchapter I. Definitions, Scope, Jurisdiction, and Recognition of Judgments

back to top767.001. Definitions

In this chapter:

(1) “Action affecting the family” means any of the following actions:

(a) To affirm marriage.

(b) Annulment.

(c) Divorce.

(d) Legal separation (formerly divorce from bed and board).

(e) Custody.

(f) For child support.

(g) For maintenance payments.

(h) For property division.

(i) To enforce or modify a judgment or order in an action affecting the family granted in this state or elsewhere or an order granted under s. 48.355(4g)(a) or 938.355(4g)(a).

(j) For periodic family support payments.

(k) Concerning periods of physical placement or visitation rights to children, including an action to prohibit a move with or the removal of a child under s. 767.481(3)(c).

(L) To determine paternity.

(m) To enforce or revise an order for support entered under s. 48.355(2)(b)4. or (4g)(a), 48.357(5m)(a), 48.363(2), 938.183(4), 938.355(2)(b)4. or (4g)(a), 938.357(5m)(a), or 938.363(2).

(1b) “Court” includes the circuit court commissioner when the circuit court commissioner has been authorized by law to exercise the authority of the court or has been delegated that authority as authorized by law.

(1d) “Department” means the department of children and families.

(1f) “Divorce” means dissolution of the marriage relationship.

(1g) “Electronic communication” means time during which a parent and his or her child communicate by using communication tools such as the telephone, electronic mail, instant messaging, video conferencing or other wired or wireless technologies via the Internet, or another medium of communication.

(1m) “Genetic test” means a test that examines genetic markers present on blood cells, skin cells, tissue cells, bodily fluid cells or cells of another body material for the purpose of determining the statistical probability of an alleged father's paternity.

(1s) “Joint legal custody” means the condition under which both parties share legal custody and neither party's legal custody rights are superior, except with respect to specified decisions as set forth by the court or the parties in the final judgment or order.

(2) “Legal custody” means:

(a) With respect to any person granted legal custody of a child, other than a county agency or a licensed child welfare agency under par. (b), the right and responsibility to make major decisions concerning the child, except with respect to specified decisions as set forth by the court or the parties in the final judgment or order.

(b) With respect to the department or a county agency specified in s. 48.56(1) or a licensed child welfare agency granted legal custody of a child, the rights and responsibilities specified under s. 48.02(12).

(2m) “Major decisions” includes, but is not limited to, decisions regarding consent to marry, consent to enter military service, consent to obtain a motor vehicle operator's license, authorization for nonemergency health care and choice of school and religion.

(5) “Physical placement” means the condition under which a party has the right to have a child physically placed with that party and has the right and responsibility to make, during that placement, routine daily decisions regarding the child's care, consistent with major decisions made by a person having legal custody.

(6) “Sole legal custody” means the condition under which one party has legal custody.

L.1959, c. 595, § 48, eff. Jan. 1, 1960. L.1959, c. 690, § 4. L.1969, c. 348, eff. Feb. 4, 1970. St.1975, § 247.03. L.1977, c. 105, §§ 6m to 8, eff. Feb. 1, 1978. L.1977, c. 418, § 747g, eff. May 19, 1978. St.1977, § 247.02. L.1979, c. 32, §§ 50, 92(4), eff. July 20, 1979. L.1979, c. 196, §§ 6, 7, eff. Aug. 1, 1980. L.1979, c. 352, §§ 22, 39, eff. July 1, 1981. L.1979, c. 355, § 208, eff. July 1, 1981. L.1979, c. 355, § 209, eff. July 1, 1980. L.1979, c. 357, § 13, eff. July 1, 1981.1985 Act 29, § 2347, eff. July 20, 1985. St.1985, § 767.02. S.Ct. Order dated Oct. 29, 1987, eff. Jan. 1, 1988. 1987 Act 355, §§ 11, 12, eff. May 3, 1988. 1987 Act 403, § 205, eff. June 7, 1988. 1987 Act 413, § 55, eff. June 17, 1988. 1989 Act 212, § 2, eff. April 28, 1990. 1993 Act 326, § 8, eff. April 30, 1994. 1993 Act 481, § 58, eff. June 11, 1994. 1995 Act 70, § 1, eff. Dec. 2, 1995. 1995 Act 77, § 587, eff. July 1, 1996. 1995 Act 100, §§ 2, 3, eff. Dec. 16, 1995. 1995 Act 279, § 9, eff. May 9, 1996. 1995 Act 404, §§ 215, 216, eff. July 1, 1996. 1997 Act 3, § 217, eff. May 13, 1997. 1997 Act 27, § 4957, eff. Jan. 1, 1998. 1997 Act 27, § 4958. 1997 Act 27, § 4959, eff. Oct. 14, 1997. 1997 Act 35, § 470, eff. Dec. 31, 1997. 1999 Act 103, § 38, eff. May 9, 2000. St.2003, §§ 767.001, 767.02. 2005 Act 174, § 1, eff. April 6, 2006. 2005 Act 443, §§ 7, 8, 15, 16, eff. Jan. 1, 2007. 2007 Act 20, §§ 3720, 3721, eff. July 1, 2008;  2015 Act 373, §§ 104, 105, eff. Oct. 1, 2016 .