Relocation of Children

Illinois Child Relocation – Custody Attorneys Protecting Your Parental Rights

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For a parent who is (or was) married to the other parent of a child, a court in Illinois must grant permission to relocate that child more than 25 miles (50 miles if you live outside of Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, Will or McHenry County). The Cook County child custody attorneys of M. Scott Gordon & Associates can help you sort out the difficult legal aspects of a proposed child relocation and protect the best interests of you and your children.

Section 609.2 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act guides the court, and a parent may seek to relocate a child more than 25 miles both during a divorce or afterward. Section 600(g) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act defines relocation as:

A change of residence from the child’s current primary residence located in county of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will to a new residence within this State that is more than 25 miles from the child’s current residence or a change in residence which is outside of the borders of Illinois and is more than 25 miles from the child’s current primary residence. 750 ILCS 5/600(g)

Your divorce attorney can help you get a better grasp of how the statute may apply to your individual circumstances.

Beyond the specific language of the statute, courts in Illinois have developed specific guidelines to assist them in determining if a parent with the majority of the parenting time should be granted permission for child relocation more than 25 miles. Such considerations include:

"(1)      The circumstances and reasons for the intended relocation ;
(2)        The reasons, if any, why a parent is objection to the intended relocation;
(3)        The history and quality of each parent’s relationship with the child and specifically whether a parent has substantially failed or refused to substantially failed or refused to exercise the parental responsibilities allocation to him or her under the parenting plan or allocation judgment;
(4)        the educational opportunities for the child at the existing location and at the proposed new location;
(5)        the presence or absence of extended family at the existing location and at the proposed new location;
(6)        the anticipated impact of the relocation on the child;
(7)        whether the court will be able to fashion a reasonable allocation of parental responsibilities between all parents if the relocation occurs;
(8)        the wishes of the child, taking into account the child’s maturity and ability to express reasoned and independent preferences as to relocation;
(9)        possible arrangements for the exercise of parental responsibilities appropriate to the parents’ resources and circumstances and the developmental level of the child;
(10)      minimization of the impairment to a parent-child relationship caused by a parent’s relocation; and
(11)      any other relevant factors bearing on the child’s best interest."  750 ILCS 5/609.2(g)

Orders of Protection may also pose a factor in the court’s consideration of the move as they may speak to the best interests of the children in terms of providing distance between the custodial parent and the parent subject to the order.

Ask an experienced attorney for guidance in your relocation case

For any parents who desire to seek court approval to relocate his or her children more than 25 miles from your current residence, it is important to seek the advice and assistance of an attorney to help in the planning of such a move. As can be seen from the guidelines listed above, our courts pay special attention to the motivations and forethought put into such a move by the parent as well as its effect on the child.

Email a divorce attorney in at at M. Scott Gordon & Associates family law firm for more information, or call our Chicago office at  312.360.0250 or our Skokie office at  847.329.0101.

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