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Moving with Children Post Divorce: What You Need to Know

 Posted on August 21, 2015 in Child Custody

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois child custody attorney,Many people move and relocate throughout their lives. Be it from one town to another, state to state, or even country to country, most people find moving exciting, promising, and often times stressful. Packing, buying or selling a home, and finding movers are all common sources of stress for families when dealing with relocating. For post divorced parents, however, relocating has another level of stress. Due to child custody laws in Illinois, a post divorce parent wishing to relocate must follow the required procedure for relocation.

If you are divorced and are planning on moving with your child, the first step is to review your custody plan, which is typically given out during your divorce. You should know which parent is the custodial parent, or parent that is physically taking care of the child, and which parent is the noncustodial parent, meaning they have visitation rights to the child. Reviewing your child custody plan will also ensure that you have no pre-set restrictions against relocation.

In Illinois, there is no law against relocation within the state as a divorced parent. While a noncustodial parent may be unhappy about the move limiting their visitation rights, the custodial parent typically has free reign to move within the state. An unhappy noncustodial parent can attempt to change their visitation rights, however, which could potentially put restrictions on moving within Illinois.

Custodial parents in Illinois are given the right to relocate with their child to another state or country. They must, however, provide details of their move and advanced notice to the noncustodial parent. If the noncustodial parent agrees to the terms of the move, further legal action can be avoided. If the noncustodial parent objects to the move, however, an Illinois court must first issue an "Order of Removal" prior to the move. For a court to issue an "Order of Removal" the custodial parent must first prove that the move is in the best interest of the child and that the move is occurring for an important reason. Courts consider a wide variety of factors when determining if they will grant an "Order of Removal" or not. Factors they consider include:

  • Both parent's relationships with the child;
  • The intent of the move;
  • The child's needs;
  • Age of the child;
  • The impact of moving on the child;
  • The quality of life for the child in their current location versus their potential quality of life if relocated;
  • The child's choice of parent;
  • Job opportunities for the parents; or
  • Access to better medical treatment

For parents wishing to simplify the moving process, and find the best possible outcome for both parents and their child, negotiating is extremely beneficial and can save on court costs. A compromise between both parents can grant the custodial parent the ability to relocate while still ensuring that the noncustodial parent is happy and able to spend time with their child regularly. Finding a mediator to help sort out an agreement both parties can accept may also be helpful.

If you are dealing with a divorce or child custody issues, having the guidance of a qualified Wheaton divorce attorney can be crucial. Contact the law offices of Stock, Carlson, Flynn and McGrath, LLC at 630-665-2500 to speak to an attorney today.
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