These days, with the world at your fingertips through the Internet, it is easier than ever to find a new job or locate a new house, making parental relocation even more likely than it might have been in the past. Unfortunately, after divorce, if you or your ex-spouse decides to relocate, this can further complicate parental responsibilities and parenting time. In fact, custodial issues surrounding relocation require courtroom proceedings in which the ex-spouse requesting a move must demonstrate that the relocation is in the best interest of the child. If any of this is the case with you or your ex-spouse, consider this advice to make sure you and your children continue to have a positive relationship despite the move.
What Happens if You or Your Ex-Spouse Decides to Relocate
Overall, parental relocation usually requires modification of child custody orders and changes to a parenting plan. Relocation often leads to drastic changes in parenting time, and while many couples prefer to simply agree to the terms of these agreements and plans verbally, these types of oral declarations are not enforceable by law. In order to ensure that the rights of all parties are protected, it is usually best to seek the assistance of a lawyer and develop a legally binding agreement. Relocation is especially challenging if one of you wants to move out of state, much farther away from the other ex-spouse and the child’s current location.
What Happens When the Court Gets Involved in Relocation Plans
Parental relocation—and child relocation in particular—might require courtroom intervention. Usually, the parent requesting relocation strongly believes the move will greatly benefit the child, while the other parent may worry that his/her relationship with the child will be adversely affected by the move. In situations like these, it is reasonable for you, your ex-spouse, and your respective lawyers to seek the counsel and subsequent decision of a judge.
In its most basic terms, relocation when a child is involved revolves around the best interests of the child. However, the “best interests” of the child can be subjective and will differ depending on the case. Despite this, the Illinois court case In re Marriage of Eckert established general guidelines for determining the child’s best interests in a relocation case. Here is what the judge will consider when rendering a verdict in these cases:
Will the relocation improve the quality of life for both the parent and the child?
Why is the parent requesting relocation?
Why is the other parent contesting the relocation?
How will visitation rights be affected?
Will it be practical and unproblematic to continue visitation?
Contact a DuPage County Child Custody Lawyer
Moving to a new home is a major decision that will likely involve changes in your life, your ex-spouse’s life, and your children’s lives. These decisions can have a long-lasting effect on the entire family and should be deliberated upon thoughtfully and carefully. That is why the assistance of an experienced Wheaton, IL parental relocation attorney can be beneficial to you. If you need help with legal matters concerning relocation and child custody, get a complimentary consultation by contacting us at 630-871-1002.