Divorce often leads to a fresh start, which can involve one parent moving out of the state or even out of the country. At the Law Offices of Nick Kulagin, our capable family law lawyers can help people throughout Kane County and DuPage County come up with a new parenting plan that accounts for the needs of both parents. From our Wheaton offices, we can evaluate the circumstances of your case and provide you with a realistic assessment of the matter. With 15 years of experience, we understand how to handle these types of cases and are committed to protecting your family’s future.Determining the Relocation of a Child
After a divorce, Illinois courts have continuing jurisdiction over child custody issues. Recent amendments to Section 609.2 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) have categorized a child’s relocation with a parent as a substantial change in circumstances, similar to other modifications of parenting plans. The child’s primary custodial parent or a parent in an equal parenting time arrangement may pursue relocation. Relocating outside the state to a location within 25 miles of the child’s current primary residence does not change the child’s home state, which will remain Illinois for the purpose of enforcing parenting plans.
The first step in pursuing relocation is giving the non-relocating parent written notice at least 60 days before the relocation. In the notice, the relocating parent must state his or her intended future address, when the relocation will happen, and how long the relocation will last if it is not intended to be permanent. It is important to follow these procedures because failing to do so may lead to a conclusion that the relocating parent is not pursuing relocation in good faith and an award of attorney’s fees and costs to the non-relocating parent.
In some situations, the non-relocating parent will consent to the relocation by signing this notice, and the relocating parent will not need to pursue further steps in court. If the modification is found to be in the best interests of the child, the court simply will alter the current parenting plan to conform to the relocation.
In other instances, the parents may not agree on the relocation. The non-relocating parent may refuse to sign the notice, or the former spouses may not be able to reach an agreement on how the parenting plan should be altered to protect their respective rights. When this happens, the relocating parent will need to file a petition for permission to relocate in family court, which will consider the child’s best interests in determining whether relocation is proper.
When considering the child’s best interests, the court may take several factors into account. Some examples include the child’s wishes, the reasons why the primary custodial parent is seeking relocation, the reasons why the non-relocating parent is objecting to it, the relationship between each parent and the child, the effect of the relocation on the child, and any burden that the relocation would impose on the relationship between the child and the non-relocating parent. The court also has the freedom to consider other relevant factors not enumerated by statute at its discretion.Protect Your Interests by Consulting a Divorce Lawyer in DuPage or Kane County
Our knowledgeable child custody attorneys can represent DuPage County and Kane County residents during the process of child relocation. The Law Offices of Nick Kulagin is here to answer your questions and address your concerns. We also can assist clients from cities such as Naperville, Hoffman Estates, Oak Park, and Geneva. Contact us by phone at 630-480-6399 or through our online form to set up a free consultation.