Reeder & Brown, P.C.


Joliet Parental Relocation Lawyer

Mokena parental relocation lawyer

What is Parental Relocation?

In the years following a couple's divorce, or in situations where unmarried parents share custody of a child, a parent may choose to make changes in their life that could potentially affect their child and the other parent. A parent may decide to move to a new home for a variety of reasons, including for employment-related purposes, to live closer to family, or to pursue a new romantic relationship. However, when a parent plans to relocate with their child, they will need to understand the requirements that will apply to them and the steps that must be taken to request modifications of child custody orders.

In cases involving parental relocation, it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney. At Reeder & Brown, P.C., we provide representation for parents who are looking to move to a new home and those who need to respond to relocation requests by the other parent. With our knowledge of the laws that affect child custody and parental rights and our experience navigating parental relocation cases, can provide invaluable guidance in these challenging situations.

Illinois Parental Relocation Laws

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) includes numerous provisions meant to protect the rights of parents during the divorce process and in situations where divorced or unmarried couples share custody of children. However, the primary focus of the law is to protect the best interests of children who are involved in these matters. Because of this, courts that address issues related to parental relocation will usually look to find solutions that will ensure that children's ongoing needs are met while allowing them to have close, continuing relationships with both parents.

The IMDMA details how cases involving parental relocation will be handled. However, these rules will only be followed in certain situations. If a parent who has physical custody of a child (meaning that they have been allocated the majority of the parenting time or share equal parenting time with the other parent) plans to move to a new home with their child, they may need to receive approval from the other parent and the court before doing so. For people who live in the collar counties surrounding Chicago (Will, DuPage, Kane, Cook, Lake, or McHenry County), a move to a new home that is at least 25 miles away from their current home is considered a relocation.

If a parent wishes to relocate, they must usually provide written notice to the other parent at least 60 days before the date of the planned move. If a person makes plans to move, and the date of the move is less than 60 days in the future, they must notify the other parent as soon as possible. If the other parent has no objections to the move, they may sign the notice, and it can then be filed in court. When deciding whether to approve the relocation, a family court judge will review the case and make sure that moving to the new location will be in the best interests of the child.

In cases where the other parent objects to the relocation, the parent who plans to relocate must file a petition in court. This petition will include any proposed changes that the parent believes should be made to their parenting plan because of the move. The other parent may file a response to this petition, and a hearing will be held where a judge will review the facts of the case and the arguments made by both parents.

When making decisions about whether to approve a relocation or make changes to a parenting plan, a judge will focus on finding solutions that will protect the child's best interests. Ideally, the judge will want to minimize any disruptions to the child's relationships with the parents and ensure that the child can pursue opportunities that will allow them to grow and develop successfully.

The judge may consider a variety of factors when making a decision, including the parent's stated reasons for relocating, the other parent's reasons for objecting to the relocation, the child's wishes, the history and quality of the child's relationship with both parents, whether either parent has failed to follow the parenting time schedule detailed in their parenting plan, the opportunities available to the child for education or activities at both locations, whether the move will affect the child's ability to spend time with extended family members, and any other issues that may affect the child's best interests. Based on all relevant issues raised in the case, the judge may choose to allow or disallow the relocation, and they may make any necessary modifications to child custody and/or parenting time while implementing solutions that will allow both parents to be as involved in the child's life as possible.

Contact Our Joliet Parental Relocation Attorneys

Our attorneys understand the importance of maintaining positive parent/child relationships, and we are committed to helping our clients protect their parental rights in cases involving parental relocation. We can help you understand your legal options in these situations, and we will advocate for solutions that prioritize your children's best interests. To learn more about how we can assist you, call us now at 815-885-5980 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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