Many people decide to relocate after a divorce in order to have a fresh start. Seeing their former spouse in town or going to places that you used to frequent throughout your marriage can make it difficult to move on and start over. While this does not require court approval for all divorcees, those with children will need to get this legally approved. This is mandated in Illinois in order to prevent the custodial parent from intentionally keeping their children away from their other biological parent. This can occur if the marriage did not end amicably; however, a bad marriage does not make someone a bad parent. Despite the cases where one parent is attempting to control the other, relocation can be done with the child’s best interests in mind.
What Is Considered Relocation in Illinois?
Moving and relocating are not one and the same. Relocating is moving a residence on a much larger scale. According to Illinois law 750 ILCS 5/600, there are a few specific parameters required to be classified as “relocation”:
- A child living in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will county moves to a new residence that is 25 miles from the child’s current residence;
- A child living in an Illinois county that is not listed above moves to a new residence within the state that is 50 miles from their current residence; or
- A child moves to a new residence that is outside of Illinois and is more than 25 miles from their current residence.
What Does the Court Consider When Evaluating My Request?
There are various factors that the court will look at to ensure that the intentions for the move have the child’s best interests in mind. A judge will typically speak to the child depending on their age and maturity level. Although the child’s opinion may not be the determining factor in the court’s decision, facial expressions and body language can sometimes reveal more information than words. The judge will also look at the potential change in the quality of life. This includes the child’s educational, physical, and emotional development. The reputation and level of education of the child’s current school are often compared to the new school to ensure that they will have equal opportunities if the relocation is approved. Another area that the court will focus on is the child’s relationship with each parent. If the child has a strong relationship with the non-custodial parent and moving would disrupt that, the judge will probably not allow them to move. At the end of the day, the court’s priority is the child’s happiness and well-being.
Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney for Help
A parent’s decision to relocate is often made after considering all the factors at hand, including the child’s wellbeing. Despite this being the case, the Illinois court system will do their own research and make their own decision on the matter. It is crucial to have an experienced legal team on your side to ensure that you and your child will receive approval to relocate to the area of your choice. If you are considering relocating after your divorce, contact our Lombard, Illinois, divorce attorneys at A. Traub & Associates by calling 630-426-0196.