Transformation of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act: Parental Relocation - DuPage County Divorce Attorney | Bloomingdale Family Law Lawyers
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Transformation of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act: Parental Relocation

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b2ap3_thumbnail_parental-relocation.jpgAfter a divorce, the parties involved finally feel they are able to focus on who they are as individuals, now that the couple has ended. Largely, the shift from a couple to an individual creates a sense of renewal, and for many divorcees it may mean buying a new car, getting a new job, or moving to a new town (largely to put a little distance between the ex-spouses). Parental relocation can have significant effects on the children who are caught in between the life they once had as a child of the couple, and now the child of two individuals. Relocation can have a negative impact on children as not only are they dealing with the major life change of their parents separating and not living under the same home, but relocation could mean a new home, a different community, a different school, and new friends.

The Amendment to Parental Relocation

Relocation has always been a significant issue in child custody battles as the courts evaluate, in a joint custody situation, the best interests of the child. Generally, however, the moving parent may still receive visitation and communication rights, but the ability to relocate the child is under the microscope and at times, not permitted. The newest update to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) provides a broader, more relaxed approach to parental relocation by reviewing several factors before ascertaining that a parent loses residential custody of their child.

Parental Relocation under IMDMA

According to the IMDMA, parental relocation is considered a substantial change of circumstances, and may lead to the modification of the custody/parenting time arrangement determined at the time of divorce. A parent interested in relocating must notify in writing the other parent of his/her intent to relocate (unless there has been a history of domestic violence) within 60 days of the move (unless impracticable).

The Rights of the Non-Relocating Parent

If the non-relocating parent signs and affirms the notice submitted by the relocating parent, then no further action will be required on behalf of the court and the parenting plan agreed to by the parents will be modified to incorporate the changes.

The Court’s Role When the Non-Relocating Parent Objects to the Relocation

However, if the non-relocating parent objects to the relocation or the parents cannot agree on the appropriate modification to the parenting plan, then the court will modify the agreement based on the “best interests of the child” evaluation. This evaluation will consider the following factors:

  • The purpose and circumstances surrounding the intent to relocate;
  • The reasoning behind the objection of the non-relocating parent toward the relocation;
  • The available educational opportunities and/or presence of extended family in the site of relocation;
  • The relationship between the child(ren) involved and his/her/their parents and the parental responsibilities of each parent;
  • The extent and effect that the relocation will have on the life of the child(ren) as well as the effect on the relationship that the child(ren) has/have with the non-relocating parent;
  • The preference of the child(ren) involved; and
  • Other factors that might bear on the best interests of the child(ren).

Experienced Family Law Attorneys in DuPage County
Parental relocation is a hot button issue in family law proceedings. The experienced family law attorneys at Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices provide guidance on your rights during an action for relocation. Contact our experienced DuPage County family law attorneys today for a free and confidential consultation.


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