After 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:
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 Law Offices LLC 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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