Information for relocating parents

On behalf of The Walters Law Group, Ltd. posted in Child Custody on Friday, December 20, 2013.

It is not terribly uncommon for one person to move to another state when preparing to marry. Thus, Illinois residents may wonder what happens if the couple later divorces, and one parent wishes to move home with children born of the marriage. Before up and moving across state lines, the custodial parent must obtain consent from the other parent or the judge. Some basic information on the process may help make things easier.

First, the custodial parent must understand that the child’s needs will always trump the parent’s in court. If a parent wants to return to a place with better job prospects or more emotional support from family, it is necessary to show how those things will also benefit the child. If the child does not know the out-of-state family members, the parent’s support system may not make a difference in the outcome. Parents must be prepared for the possibility that the judge will require them to either remain within the state or lose child custody.

Parents should also understand that many people, including the judge, can be suspicious of the motives for moving out of state. The non-custodial parent and even friends may claim that the move is motivated by revenge or bitterness rather than an interest in the child’s well-being. It is important to be able to refute those allegations. The parent must also be able to show how children’s lives will overall improve, despite being denied access to the other parent.

When preparing to divorce, a local family law attorney may be able to help negotiate a resolution parenting plan and child support. If a parent wishes to relocate, an attorney may be able to help prepare arguments to show how the move is best for the child.

Source: The Huffington Post, “6 Things to Expect and Consider When Relocating with Children After Divorce“, Andrea Moore, December 18, 2013