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Procedures for relocation by a custodial parent

As Illinois residents may know, relocation for a better paying job, family assistance with children or education is common in today's mobile society. A custodial parent may face obstacles, particularly if the child custody arrangement does not make provision for this alteration. It is important to know what is expected to make the transition easier.

Custody may be structured so both parents have time with their children. Distance may mitigate that and, on occasion, the noncustodial spouse may object to the move due to an inability to spend time with the child. The court may be asked to approve or deny the move. If the move is within the state and distance does not preclude reasonable accessibility, the court will review a revised and viable visitation schedule as well as a plan for paying transportation for visits. However, out of state moves or moving to a location far from the noncustodial parent within the same state may initiate a demand for proof of good faith on the part of the custodial parent.

This may involve detailing why the move is beneficial for the child, include a better paying job. The court will balance this against emotional or social changes, such as leaving friends, school or family the child will experience. The court may also look at the reasons the noncustodial parent has for objecting to the move.

If both parents agree the move is best, and adjustments to the visitation schedule are made, the move may be allowed. If the court feels the move is not in the best interests of the child, it may be denied. An attorney may assist in presenting a parent's reasons for moving and help modify the existing visitation schedule.

Source: Findlaw, "Child Custody Relocation Laws", December 17, 2014

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