DuPage County Attorneys Represent Divorced Parents Seeking to Relocate

For many professions, a nationwide job search is the norm. A promotion or advancement in an industry often requires relocation to another office or a new company location. In some cases, an opportunity may even take you to another country.

A move to another state or across the country with a family is even more challenging. Finding appropriate housing and starting a new position are exciting yet stressful events. Divorced parents face the added hurdle of working with a former spouse to ensure that children from the marriage continue to have opportunities to see each parent.

Communication between ex-spouses is often strained. It may be difficult to obtain the express consent from your ex to facilitate a move if you are the custodial parent. A consultation with an Illinois parental relocation attorney is a good first step in negotiating any changes to a visitation schedule. Concerns will also exist for a parent whose regular visits will be affected.

Illinois judicial oversight

In Illinois, the court may allow the custodial parent to move the minor children to another state. The court reviews the request from the custodial parent to ensure that any move is in the best interests of the children before granting approval.

When the court grants a request to move the children, it may require some security that the children will return for visitation with the spouse remaining in Illinois. Even for temporary moves, the parent planning the relocation must provide the other parent or his or her attorney with the telephone and address where the child can be reached while out of state.

The burden to show the move is in the child's best interest falls on the parent making the request. It is important to provide notice to the other parent and have good faith reasons to support the move. For example, a move to take a new position or to be closer to family to reduce childcare costs may support a relocation. However, if there is any indication the move is an attempt to limit the visitation rights of the other parent, the court may deny the request.

Child custody and visitation issues can be some of the thorniest issues in a divorce even many years after a divorce is final. For a custodial parent seeking to relocate for a new educational or employment opportunity, a call to a family law attorney may make the process easier. The court will likely need to approve any changes in the custody agreement that result from the move. An experienced family law attorney can provide counsel for what documentation needs to be filed and how to structure a new visitation schedule.

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