One parent's relocation can significantly impact a parenting plan. If you have a parenting plan in place and you are considering relocation, or you learn that your child's other parent is planning to relocate, you will need the help of an experienced family law attorney in Illinois.
Factors Considered by Court for Relocation
There are several factors the court will consider when deciding for or against relocation when a parenting plan is in place. The court will look at how the current arrangement will be affected and whether similar or comparably fair division of parenting time will be feasible if the relocation occurs.
Some other relevant factors for the court to consider include the reason for the relocation, how far away the new place of residence is from the child's current residence, how severely visitation or parenting time with the other parent would be impacted, whether the new place of residence is located out of state, whether the child would have to change schools, and how the move would affect other parts of the child's life including relationship with siblings, friends, extended family members, activities, and other attachments.
Will Relocation Enhance Quality of Life?
The court will also look at how the relocation will affect the child's life in terms of an enhanced quality of life that may be possible if the primary residential parent will enjoy better job opportunities and be able to increase his or her economic standing due to the relocation. Also relevant is whether the relocating parent is marrying a person who lives or works out of state.
Parental Motivation for Seeking or Objecting to Relocation
Each parent's motivations are also important to the court. If a parent appears to be relocating to deliberately deprive their child's other parent of parenting time, or if one parent is objecting to relocation out of spite or simply to make the other parent’s life harder, the court does not look favorably on such motivations.
New Relocation Guidelines in 2016
In 2016, Illinois enacted new child relocation laws for when a parenting plan is in place. Prior to 2016, a parent with primary residential responsibilities could move anywhere within the state of Illinois without seeking approval from the court. However, this proved very problematic for many parents since the far corners of the state can be five hours from each other or more.
Under the new law, parents must seek the court's permission and provide notice of a move to the child's other parent if the move is more than 25 or 50 miles away, depending on the specific Illinois county. The limit is 25 miles for DuPage County and the other counties that comprise the Chicago metro area.
The new law also does away with the requirement that parents automatically seek court approval if they move out of state. Now, the 25-mile rule applies whether in-state or out-of-state. Parents who plan to move just across the state border but remain only a few minutes' drive away do not need to seek court approval.
Consult an Experienced Family Attorney in DuPage County
If you are seeking to have your child's relocation either approved or blocked, one of our experienced DuPage County family law lawyers at our firm can fight to show the court why relocation is or is not in your child's best interest. Call 630-871-1002 for a free consultation today.