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Moving State Residencies as the Custodial Parent

Posted on in Divorce

Even once child custody is determined, for a divorced couple who both want the best for their children, sharing schedules and determining visitation can be a challenge. This becomes all the more difficult if the custodial parent decides that he or she is going to move out of state. In some cases, a move out of state could be beneficial for the children (if the non-custodial parent consistently fails to follow through or is a threat to the ex-spouse), but in most cases moving out of state presents a whole new set of challenges for a divorced couple. In Illinois, if the custodial parent wants to leave Illinois, he or she must first go through a specific court procedure to determine if the move is indeed in the best interest of the child. No custodial parent is allowed to leave Illinois permanently without going through this procedure. In order to make this possible, according to DivorceSource.com, the first step a custodial parent must take if he or she wants to leave Illinois is to “file a petition with the court requesting permission to remove the children from the state.” From there, the court will require “psychological examinations of the parties and the children (and possibly others)… and it is difficult to obtain a prompt hearing.” This means that the custodial parent will need to prepare for the move well in advance—it’s not a decision that can be made lightly and requires months of preparation. According to DivorceSource, “removal will only be approved if it is in the best interest of the children.” There are several factors that the court will consider, according to DivorceSource, which include but are not limited to:

  • that quality of life will improve for all parties involved
  • why the custodial parent wants to move
  • why the non-custodial parent doesn’t want the other to move
  • how drastically the move will effect the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights
  • whether a realistic visitation schedule can be reached

If the non-custodial parent has spent significant time with the children and has proven to be an active part of the children’s lives, obtaining approval for the move may be more difficult. If you or someone you know has custody questions such as this, don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Illinois family law attorney today.

Image courtesy of renjith Krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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