Relocation & Children

Child Relocation Lawyers – Joliet, IL

As our society becomes more mobile. It is not uncommon for parents to want to move with their children. This concept used to be referred to as Removal under Illinois law. A removal prohibited a parent from moving outside of the borders of Illinois without the permission from the other parent or the Court.

In 2016, many important provisions to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act were changed. The term Removal was replaced by Relocation. Under the new law, a primary parent or parent who has been allocated the majority of parenting time must receive the permission from the other parent or the court prior to moving with the child. The burden of proof is on the parent who desires to move to demonstrate to the court that this move is in the child’s best interest.

The current law provides that a parent residing in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry or Will County who wishes to move more than 25 miles must receive permission from the other party or the court prior to moving. For primary parents residing outside of the Chicagoland area, parents may move up to 50 miles prior to seeking permission from the court or the other party. Whereas the old law prohibited a parent from even moving a couple of miles into a new state, the new law permits out of state moves of a couple of miles provided that it is within the mileage restriction. For example a 10 mile move into Indiana could be permitted. In these cases, the Illinois Court retains jurisdiction to enforce the prior parenting plan or allocation judgment.

When is a Relocation Appropriate

In determining whether a relocation should be granted or denied, the court considers a number of factors, including:

  • The circumstances and reasons for the intended relocation;
  • The reasons, if any why a parent is objecting to the intended relocation;
  • The history and quality of each parent’s relationship with the child and specifically whether a parent has substantially failed or refused to exercise the parental responsibilities allocated to him or her under the parenting plan or allocation judgment;
  • The educational opportunities for the child at the existing location and at the proposed new location;
  • The presence or absence of extended family at the existing location and at the proposed new location;
  • The anticipated impact of the relocation on the child;
  • Whether the court will be able to fashion a reasonable allocation of parental responsibilities between all of the parents if the relocation occurs;
  • The wishes of the child, taking into account the child’s maturity and ability to express reasoned and independent preferences as to relocation;
  • Possible arrangements for the exercise of parental responsibilities appropriate to the parents’ resources and circumstances and the developmental level of the child;
  • The minimization of the impairment to a parent-child relationship caused by a parent’s relocation; and
  • Any other relevant factors bearing on the child’s best interest:

Procedure for Relocation

The process for providing notice is very technical. A parent must file Notice with the court which includes the parents intended date of relocation; the address of the relocating parent’s new residence if known; the length of time that relocation will last. The Court may consider a parents failure to comply with these technical notice provisions as a basis to deny relocation. If the non-relocating parent signs the notice then the parent can relocate. If the non-relocating parent does not sign the notice or objects, the parent who wishes to move must file a petition seeking permission from the court to relocate.

The attorneys at Henderson & Mehta Law and Mediation have extensive experience with all aspects of relocation cases. We have successfully negotiated relocations to our client’s satisfaction. In more difficult cases where the relocation is objected to, we have successfully litigated relocations allowing our client’s to move. In other cases, we have defended our client’s parental rights and prevented the other parent from moving a substantial distance with the child.

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