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Wheaton Parental Relocation Attorneys

Child Relocation Lawyers in DuPage County

Prior to 2003, Illinois had one of the most liberal relocation laws in the country. Custodial parents could move children out-of-state at almost any time for almost any reason, sometimes without a court order or notice to the non-custodial parents. Then, the Legislature changed the law, and judges suddenly became unwilling to grant a relocation in all but extreme circumstances. Further changes have since been made to the law, specifically defining a relocation and the circumstances under which court approval is necessary.

At Pesce Law Group, P.C., we understand that life happens and that a divorce decree that is fair to everyone today may become totally unworkable tomorrow. We thoroughly prepare your case and then serve as a strong advocate for your position in the courtroom.

Legal Considerations

As with child custody/parental responsibilities, child support, and any other related matters, a relocation order must be in the best interests of the children. According to Illinois law, a relocation is a move with a child more than 25 miles from a current home in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will County to a new home in Illinois or more than 50 miles if the current home is outside of those six counties. Finally, it is also considered a relocation if the move is more than 25 miles from a current home in Illinois to a new home out of state.

In a proceeding for a relocation, the judge normally considers the following factors:

  • Quality of Life: Most relocation requests stem from a promotion or a job opportunity, and judges view these situations favorably. If the parent seeking a relocation wants to move in with relatives or look for potential employment, a judge may require additional assurances that the move is in the children's best interests.
  • Parental Motives: Does the parent really want to move to frustrate the other parent's visitation/parenting time? Similarly, is the other parent contesting the move to short-circuit the moving parent's plans for a better life?
  • Current Visitation Schedule: The more time the children spend with the other parent, and the further away the new location may be, the more likely the judge is to deny the request.
  • Workable Future Plans: Can the parents work out a visitation and parenting time arrangement that is not unduly burdensome and in the best interests of the children?

Generally, the judge either grants the request, denies the request, or orders the relocating party to put up a bond or other security to help ensure continued contact.

Practical Matters

Pragmatically, there is a significant difference between an in-state and an out-of-state move. This consideration is magnified if the parent who is not moving is disabled, works odd hours, or is economically challenged. If you plan to move out of state with a minor child, file your request as early as possible, because it may be several months before the judge hears and rules on the case. Also, the judge will consider evidence about the new location, such as the schools, crime rate, and overall economy.

Relocation is not a rubber stamp, but it is a reasonable request. For assistance in this area, contact Pesce Law Group, P.C. at 630-352-2240 for a free consultation. We provide representation to family law clients in DuPage County and surrounding jurisdictions.

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