Tag Archives: parenting plan

What Should a Divorced Parent Consider Before Deciding to Relocate?

DuPage County child relocation attorneyThese 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.






Can a Divorced Parent Travel Internationally With a Child?

DuPage County family law attorney for international travelMany families enjoy traveling together, and visiting another country can provide parents and children with an amazing experience that allows them to embrace new cultures. However, when a divorced parent plans to travel internationally with their child, this can raise concerns and legal issues. The other parent may worry about the risks the child may face and how international travel will affect their parenting time. If either parent plans to travel with their child to another country, they will need to ensure that the proper legal procedures are followed.

International Travel Restrictions for Children

When a child is preparing to go on an international trip, certain precautions must be taken before he or she can leave the United States. The child will need a passport for international travel just like every other person. However, there are additional processes that must be followed. If a child under the age of 16 applies for a passport, both parents must:

  • Consent to the passport application

  • Be present with their child for the passport application

  • Sign the passport application

In situations where parental responsibilities have been allocated solely to one parent, legal evidence must be provided in order to move forward with the passport application. If the child is 16 or 17 years old, they can apply for a passport by themselves if they have the proper identification forms.

Additionally, if a child is going on an international trip with one parent independently, documentation that supports this form of travel is required. A signed letter of acknowledgment by the non-present parent is required before the child can travel. If a parent has sole custody, a copy of the court custody document should be carried at all times.

Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney

If you or your ex-spouse plan to travel internationally with your child, it is very important to share that information with your attorney. Regardless of whether your divorce was amicable or contentious, either parent might not be comfortable with international travel. To ensure that your parental rights are protected and that your child will be safe during their travels, you should make sure all parties understand the dates the child will be traveling, the locations they will be visiting, methods of communication between parents and children, and any other legal issues that need to be addressed.

At the Andrew Cores Family Law Group, our experienced team can work with you to make sure the proper procedures are followed when a parent travels to a foreign country with a child. Our knowledgeable DuPage County divorce lawyers will answer your questions, and if necessary, we will advocate on your behalf to ensure that your parental rights are protected. For a free consultation, call our office today at 630-871-1002.






What Will a Judge Consider When Creating a Parenting Plan?

DuPage County parenting plan attorneyThe health and well-being of a couple’s child should always be a top priority when ending a relationship or going through a divorce. During this process, a parenting plan will be created to make decisions and establish rules that the parents should follow regarding issues such as the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. Parents can save a lot of time and money by working together and addressing these matters prior to facing a judge. However, if a couple cannot come to an agreement, the judge will be required to make legally binding decisions that would reflect the best interests of the child.

Decision-making Responsibilities

The allocation of parental responsibilities, which was formerly known as child custody in Illinois, refers to the right to make decisions about a child’s upbringing. Illinois law recognizes four areas of parental responsibility: education, healthcare, religion, and extracurricular activities. Unless both parents agree in writing about how to divide these responsibilities, the judge may allocate certain areas of decision-making authority to one parent or have both parents share the responsibility. In most cases, it is beneficial for children to have both parents participate in making decisions about how they should be raised, so a parent may need to have justifications as to why he or she believes certain areas of responsibility should or should not be shared.

Determining Parenting Time

Illinois law states that parents are presumed to be fit and that they have the right to have reasonable amounts of parenting time (formerly known as visitation) with their children. Unless there is evidence that spending parenting time with one parent would put a child in danger, there may not be any restrictions on parenting time for either parent. Ideally, parents should work together to determine a parenting time schedule that gives children a good amount of time with each parent, but in some cases, the judge may need to allocate parenting time based on what is in children’s best interests.

Factors a Judge May Consider

If parents cannot reach an agreement about matters related to their children, the ultimate decision may be left up to the judge in their case. When determining how to allocate parental responsibility and parenting time, the judge may consider the following factors:

  • The child’s needs

  • The child’s relationship with each parent

  • The child’s adjustment to life at school, home, and the community

  • The parents’ and child’s wishes

  • Each parent’s amount of parental responsibilities prior to the separation, as well as the amount of time each parent spent caring for the children

  • Whether or not one of the parents is a convicted sex offender

  • The distance between the parents’ homes, coupled with the cost and difficulty of going back and forth

  • Whether or not any parenting time restrictions are necessary

  • The mental and physical health of everyone involved

  • Any prior physical violence or threats towards the child or another household member

Additionally, any factors deemed relevant by the judge may be included in the deliberation. Before allowing the court to make a major decision on your behalf, it is highly recommended to speak to an experienced lawyer. Separating on good terms and establishing a pattern of trust for your child could result in a much happier future.

Contact a Wheaton Child Custody Attorney

Children’s stress and anxiety may decrease if they can see their parents working together with the goal of putting the children’s health and happiness first. If you are able to work with your former partner to reach a decision that benefits your child, this may result in a better outcome then letting an impartial third party decide on how your family’s affairs will be handled. However, if you and your ex-spouse cannot agree upon a parenting plan, our experienced DuPage County divorce lawyers can advise you on the best course of legal action. For a free consultation, please call our office at 630-871-1002.