Custodial Parent Moving Child Out of Illinois
For various reasons, a custodial parent may wish to move with his or her child to another state. However, this could lead to a contested child custody dispute. When the non-custodial parent does not want the relocation to occur, the custodial parent must obtain a court order allowing the move to take place.
Best Interests of the Child
The first step when a custodial parent desires to move a minor child with them out of Illinois should be to notify the non-custodial parent with the date of relocation, the address of the intended residence, and the duration of relocation. If the non-custodial parent agrees to the move, and does so by signing the notice, then a court order may not be required; however, it is a good idea to have an agreed order entered. If the non-custodial parent does not agree to the move, then the custodial parent will bear the burden of proving in court that the relocation is in the best interests of the minor child.
A custodial parent may wish to move for reasons like remarriage or better career opportunities. Still, regardless of the reasoning for wanting to move, the parent wishing to move must show it is in the best interests of the child. It is important to recognize that, while the move may be beneficial to the parent, this alone is not sufficient to obtain court approval to relocate. In making the determination, the court must consider the following:
- Reasons for wanting to relocate;
- Whether relocating will enhance the quality of life for both the custodial parent and the child;
- Whether the proposed relocation is simply an attempt to frustrate or defeat the non-custodial parent's visitation rights;
- Reasons for the non-custodial parent objecting to the relocation;
- History and quality of each parent's relationship with the child;
- Visitation rights of the non-custodial parent and whether reasonable visitation can be accomplished if the relocation is permitted;
- Educational opportunities for the child at the current location and the proposed new location;
- Whether extended family lives near the current or proposed new location; and
- The wishes of the child, while taking into account the child's maturity and ability to communicate reasoned preferences.
The parent wishing to relocate will have to address the following issues:
- Housing and job opportunities in the new location;
- The quality of the new neighborhood and schools;
- Activity opportunities for the child; and
- A plan for continuing to keep the child in contact with the non-custodial parent.
At the present, court order is not required if the custodial parent wishes to move within Illinois. However, the relocation may be considered a material change in the child's circumstances that could lead to a petition for custody modification.
Family Law Attorneys
Whether you are a parent who wishes to relocate, or a parent opposed to your child moving, MKFM Law can help. At our firm, we understand that issues related to divorce, especially those involving children, are difficult and critically important. For more information about your rights, please contact a compassionate and dedicated Illinois family law attorney today at 630-665-7300.