Many couples breathe a sigh of relief upon the finalization of their divorces, believing that their legal problems are now over. This, however, is not always the case, especially for couples who share custody of a child. In fact, it is more likely than not that a family will eventually need to re-address their parenting plan to account for a change in circumstances, like a new job, or even just a child’s changing needs. These changes must, however, be accompanied by compliance with specific steps, especially if one or both of a child’s parents want to relocate. For help ensuring that your own child’s best interests are protected during a potential relocation, please call our experienced Lombard, IL child custody and parental responsibility lawyers today.
Relocation by Agreement
Parents who share parenting time equally, or who have been allocated the majority of parenting time can attempt to relocate with their child, but must abide by certain rules. The parent who wishes to relocate must, for instance, give written notice at least 60 days before the move to the child’s other parent and must also submit that notice to the circuit court. These notices must contain certain information, including:
- The intended date of the relocation
- The address of the new residence
- The duration of the relocation, if temporary
If the non-relocating parent agrees to the move and relocation is deemed to be in a child’s best interests, then the court will generally be willing to modify the couple’s parenting plan to accommodate the change. It is also important to note, however, that these requirements only apply to official relocations, which depending on the county where the parties reside, is either 25 or 50 miles from the child’s original home.
Objecting to the Relocation
If, on the other hand, the non-relocating parent objects to the move or will not sign the notice, or the couple cannot reach an agreement on how to modify the parenting plan, then the parent seeking relocation will need to file a petition with the court. A judge will be tasked with deciding whether the move is in a child’s best interests by looking at a few specific factors, including:
- The circumstances and reasons for the relocation
- The reasons for the other parent’s objection
- The history and quality of both parents’ relationship with their child
- The educational opportunities at the child’s school and those available at the proposed location
- Whether extended family live near the child’s existing home or near the proposed location
- The impact of relocation on the child
- Whether the relocation would allow for the reallocation of parental responsibilities between the child’s parents
- The wishes of the child
- Whether relocation would impair the child’s relationship with one parent
For help determining how these factors would weigh in your own relocation case, please call our office today.
Experienced DuPage County Child Custody Lawyers
To speak with a member of our dedicated Lombard child custody legal team about your child’s potential relocation, please call Aldrich & Siedlarz Law, P.C. at 630-953-3000 today.