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Moving Children after a Divorce

By Leslie Fineberg on March 26, 2015

After a divorce, it is common for a parent to want to move and start fresh. However, you cannot simply relocate a child out of Illinois without permission. Your ex-spouse may have custody rights that prevent you from moving your child out of Illinois. Therefore, it is not advisable to attempt to move your child without first seeking legal guidance. You do not want to violate the terms of your agreement and put your custody rights in jeopardy.

Custodial parents in Illinois who wish to move out of state with their minor child must first get permission from the court. You will need to file a petition requesting a court order that will allow you to move with the child, and you must prove to the court that the move is in your child’s best interest. You even need permission to take your child from the state temporarily. In such cases, the judge may require you to provide proof that you will return the child.

When the court reviews your petition to move the child out of Illinois, several factors will be taken into consideration, including:

  • Your motivation for moving the child
  • The reasons why the non-custodial parent wishes you to stay
  • The current visitation schedule and how that schedule will change once you move
  • How the move will affect your child’s quality of life
  • If it will be possible for the non-custodial parent to visit
  • Whether the move will cause harm to the child

Each case is different, so there is no way to tell which factors will be given the most weight by your judge. While one judge may focus on how the move will improve the life of the child, another may give more weight to how the move will affect the non-custodial parent. In general, you will have to prove that the move is in the child’s best interest and that you will try to work with the non-custodial parent to allow visitation rights to continue in some form.

If you wish to move out of state, it may be in your best interest to seek support from a family law attorney who will guide you through the petition process. It is especially important to seek legal help if your ex-spouse opposes your move. Make sure you are ready to fight for your rights.

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Posted in: Child Allocation

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