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How to File for Visitation Rights in a Different County

Question from Richard, How to File for Visitation Rights in a Different County

Answer from AI:

When you’re looking to establish or modify visitation rights, especially after a significant period of absence and legal complications, understanding the correct jurisdiction and procedural steps is crucial. In your case, the children and their mother have moved to Racine County, Wisconsin, while you now reside in Indiana. Given these circumstances, here’s a general guide on how to proceed, keeping in mind the importance of consulting with a legal professional for personalized advice.

Understanding Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction refers to a court’s authority to hear and decide on a case. In matters of child custody and visitation, jurisdiction typically lies with the court in the child’s home state, which is defined as the state where the child has lived with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least six consecutive months.

Given your situation, Racine County, where your children currently reside, would likely have jurisdiction over your visitation case.

Steps to File for Visitation in Racine County

  1. Consult with an Attorney: While you’ve already received initial advice, ongoing consultation with a family law attorney, especially one familiar with Wisconsin’s laws and Racine County’s local court procedures, is invaluable. They can provide guidance tailored to your specific circumstances, including how to address the existing injunction.
  2. Prepare Your Motion: You’ll need to prepare a motion for visitation. This document should detail your request and the reasons behind it. Although you have forms for Milwaukee County, you should obtain and complete the appropriate forms for Racine County. Wisconsin Courts provide family law forms that might be relevant to your situation.
  3. Address the Change of Venue: Since the original case was in Milwaukee County, you may need to file a motion to change the venue to Racine County. This motion should explain that the children and their mother now reside in Racine County, making it the more appropriate venue for matters concerning visitation.
  4. File Your Motion: Once your documents are prepared, file them with the Racine County court. There may be filing fees associated, and you’ll need to follow any specific local court rules regarding submission and service of documents.
  5. Service of Process: After filing, you must ensure the other parent is formally notified of your motion. This process, known as service of process, must be done according to state law and court rules.
  6. Attend Court Hearings: Be prepared to attend any scheduled hearings. If you’re residing out of state, inquire about the possibility of attending hearings remotely, if necessary.

Dealing with an Existing Injunction

If there’s an injunction in place, it’s crucial to address this in your motion and consult with your attorney on the best approach to ensure your request for visitation is considered in light of this factor. Your attorney can advise on whether modifications to the injunction are necessary or how to demonstrate that visitation is in the best interest of the children despite the injunction.


Filing for visitation in a situation where jurisdictions have changed and there are complicating factors, such as an existing injunction, requires careful preparation and adherence to legal procedures. While this guide provides a general overview, personalized legal advice from a qualified attorney is essential to navigate the complexities of your case effectively.

Remember, the goal is to establish a visitation arrangement that serves the best interest of your children, and understanding the correct jurisdiction and legal process is the first step in achieving this outcome.

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