When you are a parent, almost everything you do is to make sure your child is happy and healthy. Your child’s best interests are at the top of your list of priorities. Sometimes, doing the best thing for your child may include a relocation, which can be difficult to navigate, since it may require changes to child custody arrangements. In the state of Illinois, it is generally understood that a child flourishes better when both parents are active and involved in the child’s life. Because of this, a relocation with your child must be approved by both your child’s other parent and the courts. Even if your child’s other parent objects to the relocation, you can still petition to relocate with your child as long as you can demonstrate that the move would benefit the child.
Starting the Relocation Process
Before you take your issue to the courts, you may want to address it between you and the child’s other parent first. You should provide the other parent with notice regarding your intended move, and you must then file a notice of relocation with the clerk of the circuit court, and the other parent must sign that notice and file the signed copy. The notice of relocation should be filed at least 60 days before your intended relocation and should include your date of relocation and your new address. If the other parent objects to the relocation, or if you cannot come to an agreement about an updated parenting plan, then you will have to petition the court to allow the relocation.
How Relocation Decisions Are Made
In all cases involving children, courts make decisions based on what would be in the child’s best interests. Factors that judges consider when making decisions about relocations include:
- The reasons for the intended relocation and the circumstances surrounding it.
- The reasons the other parent objects to the relocation.
- The history and quality of the relationship between each parent and the child.
- Educational opportunities that the child currently has and the opportunities available at the new location.
- Whether or not extended family is present at the new location and whether or not they are present at the current location.
- What kind of impact the relocation will have on the child.
- Whether or not a reasonable allocation of parenting time and responsibilities is possible with the relocation.
- The wishes of the child, within reason.
- How to minimize any impairment that the relocation may have on the parent-child relationship with either parent.
Contact a Will County Family Law Attorney Today
Moving is a big deal to anyone, but relocating when you must share parenting time with your ex-spouse can be frustrating and stressful. If you are dealing with a relocation case, then you need help from a knowledgeable New Lenox, IL parental relocation attorney. At the Divorce and Family Law Offices of Wakenight & Associates, P.C., we understand how emotional family law issues can be. We can help you explain to the judge why a relocation would or would not benefit your child. Call our office today at 815-727-6144 to schedule a free consultation.