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DuPage County child custody attorneysIf you are a parent who is unmarried, divorced, or planning to end your marriage, you may have questions about child custody. Disputes about the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time can be complicated and contentious. One issue that commonly arises is a parent wishing to move or relocate. If you or your child’s other parent is planning to move, you should know the laws in Illinois regarding parental relocations and how this may influence your parental responsibilities and parenting time.  

Defining “Relocation”

Considerable changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) went into effect in 2016. Among these changes was a total overhaul of how the state deals with parental relocations. Formally called “child removal,” moving with a child when you share custody can dramatically change the co-parenting situation. If a parent with the majority of parenting time, formerly called the “custodial parent” or a parent with equal parenting time wishes to “relocate,” there are certain steps he or she is required to take. A parental move is considered a “relocation” if:

  • The parent currently lives in Cook County, Kane County, DuPage County, Lake County, Will County, or McHenry County and wishes to move to more than 25 miles away while remaining in Illinois.
  • The parent currently lives in another Illinois county and wishes to move more than 50 miles away while remaining in Illinois.
  • The parent wishes to move more than 25 miles away to a new residence outside of Illinois.

Relocation Requirements

If you are the parent with the majority of parenting time or equal parenting time and your move is considered a relocation, you will need to notify the other parent about the relocation at least 60 days in advance. You must tell the other parent the date you intend to move, your new address, and how long you plan to live in the new residence. If the other parent does not object to your relocation, you then make any necessary adjustments to your parenting plan and submit it to the court for approval.

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DuPage County divorce attorney spousal maintenance

Although it occurred slightly over one year ago, it is worth understanding the changes that Illinois made to its spousal maintenance law on January 1, 2019. The law controls not just how a court can determine whether or not one spouse is owed maintenance payments from the other, but how to choose the duration and amounts of those payments. Even if you have the help of an experienced divorce attorney to guide you through the divorce process, it could benefit you to understand whether to expect a court to rule in favor of maintenance payments for you or your spouse. 

2019 Illinois Spousal Maintenance Law

Before deciding whether spousal maintenance applies in a divorce, the court must consider many factors, all of which are detailed in the 2019 Illinois spousal maintenance law:

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DuPage County child support enforcement attorneysIf you are a single parent entitled to child support, you have probably come to rely heavily on these funds. Whether it is child care, groceries, educational or extracurricular activities, or other costs, raising a child is expensive. When a parent does not receive his or her child support, it can be hard to make ends meet. Furthermore, child support orders are legally binding court orders. A parent cannot simply choose to stop payments. If a parent fails to meet his or her child support obligation, he or she can be charged with contempt of court and face other serious consequences.

Enforcing a Child Support Order

In order for a child support arrangement to be enforceable, it must be officially ordered by the court. If you and your child’s other parent had an informal child support arrangement, you will need to take the steps to establish a formal child support order. If the legal paternity of your child has not been established and you want to collect child support from your child’s father, you will need to establish paternity before you can collect child support.

Court-mandated child support payments are not optional. If your child’s other parent is not paying court-ordered support, you have two basic options. You may contact the Illinois Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) and initiate an enforcement action through this agency or you may enforce the child support order through the Illinois court system. The latter option may help you receive a favorable outcome more quickly than going through the DCSS, but the option you choose will be based on your unique situation and needs.

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