DCFS INFO MEMO 2000-02

January 24, 2000

STATE OF WISCONSIN
Department of Health and Family Services
Division of Children and Family Services

To: Area Administrators/Assistant Area Administrators
Bureau Directors
County Department of Community Programs Directors
County Departments of Developmental Disabilities
     Services Directors
County Departments of Human Services Directors
County Departments of Social Services Directors
Program Office Directors/Section Chiefs
Tribal Chairpersons/Human Services Facilitators
From: Susan N. Dreyfus
Administrator
Re: Court-Ordered Visitation and Changes in Placement in Certain Circumstances

1999 Wisconsin Act 9, the biennial budget, made some changes to visitation provisions under s. 48.355(3), 48.428(6) and 48.357(4d), Stats. Under these changes, a court may not grant visitation to or change a child’s placement to a parent of a child if the parent has been convicted:

  1. Under s. 940.01 of the first-degree intentional homicide of the child’s other parent, or

  2. Under s. 940.05 of the 2nd-degree intentional homicide of the child’s other parent, and

  3. The conviction has not been reversed, set aside or vacated.

In addition, if a parent who does have visitation with his or her child or whose child is placed with him or her and is then subsequently convicted as noted above, the court must issue an order prohibiting continuation of visitation or changing the placement of the child if a petition for that prohibition or change in placement is made by the child, the guardian or legal custodian of the child, a person or agency bound by the dispositional order, or the district attorney or the corporation counsel. The court may also make a motion on its own. The parent must be notified of the petition or the court’s motion.

The exception to the provisions noted above is if the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that the visitation or placement would be in the child’s best interests. In making that decision, the court must consider the wishes of the child.

The statutory language has been attached for your convenience. 

REGIONAL OFFICE CONTACT: Area Administrator
CENTRAL OFFICE CONTACT: Amy Smith
Child Protective Services
      Specialist
DHFS/DCFS
P.O. Box 8916
Madison, WI 53708-8916
Phone: (608) 267-7732
FAX: 608-264-6750
e-mail: smithae@dhfs.state.wi.us

The Department of Children and Families, protecting children, strengthening families, building communities.