2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 48. Children's code.
48.426 Standard and factors.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 48.426 (2017)

48.426 Standard and factors.

(1)Court considerations. In making a decision about the appropriate disposition under s. 48.427, the court shall consider the standard and factors enumerated in this section and any report submitted by an agency under s. 48.425.

(2)Standard. The best interests of the child shall be the prevailing factor considered by the court in determining the disposition of all proceedings under this subchapter.

(3)Factors. In considering the best interests of the child under this section the court shall consider but not be limited to the following:

(a) The likelihood of the child's adoption after termination.

(b) The age and health of the child, both at the time of the disposition and, if applicable, at the time the child was removed from the home.

(c) Whether the child has substantial relationships with the parent or other family members, and whether it would be harmful to the child to sever these relationships.

(d) The wishes of the child.

(e) The duration of the separation of the parent from the child.

(f) Whether the child will be able to enter into a more stable and permanent family relationship as a result of the termination, taking into account the conditions of the child's current placement, the likelihood of future placements and the results of prior placements.

History: 1979 c. 330.

When grandparents opposing termination had a substantial relationship with the child and wished to participate in the proceedings, it was error to exclude their testimony in determining the child's best interest. In Interest of Brandon S.S. 179 Wis. 2d 114, 507 N.W.2d 94 (1993).

A termination of parental rights works a legal severance of the relationship between the child and the child's birth family. Sub. (3) (c) requires an examination of the harmful effect of the legal severance on the child's relationships with the birth family. The court may consider an adoptive parent's promise to continue the relationship, but it is not bound to hinge its determination on that legally unenforceable promise. State v. Margaret H. 2000 WI 42, 234 Wis. 2d 606, 610 N.W.2d 475, 99-1441.

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