Under Illinois divorce and family law statutes, when one parent seeks court approval to relocate a substantial distance away with a child after the divorce, the current custody order may need to be modified if the potential long-distance move could negatively impact your child’s interests.
Strict Formal Notification Requirements Apply
Illinois Compiled Statutes require the parent desiring to relocate provide formal advance written notice to the other parent of the intent to move with the child. This notice must be given at least 60 days prior to the anticipated relocation date. Serving advance notice gives the non-relocating parent time to file an objection and initiate child custody modification proceedings before the relocation occurs.
The Court Assesses Factors Related to the Child’s Best Interests
If the non-relocating parent formally objects to the proposed out-of-state move and files a petition to prevent it, the Illinois family law judge will carefully examine and weigh a variety of statutory factors to determine whether uprooting the child to a new distant location is truly in the overall best interests of the child. Factors examined include the likelihood of impacting the child’s emotional, physical, and mental well-being, the reasons for the relocation, logistics of transportation for parenting time, the child’s opinion, and disruption to current educational programs and community ties.
Custody Modification May Be Necessary and Warranted
If after weighing all relevant statutory best interest factors, the court determines the proposed long-distance relocation away from the non-moving parent would not be fully in the child’s overall best interests, varying types of custody modifications may be ordered. Modified custody could involve new long-distance parenting time schedules, transportation clauses, or even granting primary residential custody rights to the non-moving parent to preserve stability.
Burden of Proof Falls on the Relocating Parent
The relocating parent who desires to move the child away from the other parent carries the legal burden of proof. They must persuade the court through documentation and evidence that undertaking such a move is a fit, sound transition that ultimately serves the child’s physical and emotional needs. Meeting this burden of proof is challenging but critical.
Contact a St. Charles Child Custody Lawyer
To best protect your rights as a parent and the interests of your children, it is important to consult with an experienced Kane County family law attorney. Call [[title]] at [[phone]] or a free consultation.