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DuPage County Attorneys

LOMBARD

900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100

BLOOMINGDALE

134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761

CHICAGO

105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100

NAPERVILLE

1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000
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DuPage County family law attorneysAfter your divorce is finalized, you may be looking for a fresh start, perhaps in the form of a change of scenery. However, if you share children with your ex, relocating after your divorce is not as simple as picking a spot on the map. You should think carefully about whether the move is in your children’s best interests, and even if you decide that relocation is the right decision, there are important procedures you must follow to ensure your relocation is legal.

Possible Reasons for Relocation

Moving with your children after a divorce is a major decision that affects your entire family. However, there are situations in which it may make sense. For example, relocation can be a good decision if:

  • The move allows you to better provide for your children. You may have a good case for relocation if you are moving to accept a job offer that advances your career and increases your income, or to pursue higher education that increases your job opportunities.
  • The move allows you or your children to pursue an important opportunity. If the reason for your move is directly related to your children, perhaps to allow them to attend a better school or participate in a cherished extracurricular activity, you may have a good case that the move is in your children’s best interests.
  • The move brings you closer to extended family. Relocating closer to your family not only gives your children the opportunity to build stronger relationships with them, but may also give you access to a better support system that can assist in the raising of your children.
  • Your children are able to maintain their relationship with the other parent. Presuming that your ex is a fit parent, it is important that your relocation does not damage your children’s relationship with him or her. If you choose to move, you should work with your ex to update your parenting plan and arrange for regular travel so that your kids can still spend time with both of you.

Obtaining Approval for Relocation in Illinois

If you plan to move with your child out of state or at least 25 from your current home (50 miles, if you already live outside of the immediate Chicago area), you will likely need to obtain legal approval to do so. First, you must provide reasonable written notice to the other parent, usually at least 60 days before the move. From there, the best-case scenario is that your ex consents to the relocation and is willing to work with you on an updated parenting plan. However, if your ex does not consent, you will need to file a petition for relocation and demonstrate to the court that the move is in your children’s best interests.

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Naperville family law attorneyAfter a divorce is made final, and sometimes even before that, an Illinois family court will enter an order regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities. This order controls how parental responsibilities are shared between the divorcing couple. One of these responsibilities is time shared with a child.

Determining Parenting Time

If a divorcing couple has not agreed on a parenting schedule, the court will determine how and when visitation will take place in the best interest of the child. The court will do so relying on expert opinions and considering several factors, including the following:

  • Each parent’s wishes;
  • Wishes of the child;
  • School and extracurricular needs of the child;
  • Distance between the parents; and
  • Work schedules for the parents.

Exchanging Children for Parenting Time

In situations where the divorce is amicable and the divorced parents get along well, handing over or picking up a child during parental time is done seamlessly with the parents agreeing how it will be done each time. If such is not the case and the parents have to follow a court ordered schedule, then the visitation exchange is often done curbside, meaning right outside the receiving parent’s residence. If the relationship between the parents is poor, a court may order drop-offs and pickups to take place at some other location, such as a school, shopping area, park, or gas station to minimize the likelihood of a problem.

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Lombard Family Law Attorney

Historically, the legal need to establish paternity or parentage only arose when a child’s mother was not married to the child’s biological father at the time of the child’s birth. Today, questions of parentage can arise in numerous situations, including pregnancies involving:

Female couples, when one is the biological mother of the child.

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Illinois divorce lawyersIn divorce, it is not just the assets that are divided. Instead, divorcing couples must also split their debts. With more than 44 million student loan borrowers in the United States, all with a total debt of about $1.4 trillion, you can be sure that, in at least some divorces, there is a distribution of student loan debts. When and how does this happen? How might it impact your Illinois divorce? The following explains, and it provides details on where to find assistance with your case.

Marital versus Non-Marital Student Loan Debt

Like with assets, distribution of debt typically only debts that were acquired during the marriage. As such, student loans that were obtained before marriage are likely to be excluded from the marital estate. It is important to note, however, that student loan debt does not automatically become a part of the marital estate, just because the debt was incurred over the course of the marriage. Instead, there are several factors that may be used to determine whether the student loan debt is a part of the marital estate. These factors include:

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Illinois family law attorneysIn Illinois, divorcing parents must determine the allocation of parental responsibilities (formerly known as custody) and parenting time (formerly known as visitation) will be split among them. Unfortunately, this sensitive matter can create a lot of tension, and parents may struggle to come to an agreement. If this happens, the decision may be left up to a judge. Learn more about how child-related matters are decided upon in an Illinois divorce, and how an experienced attorney can help with your case.

Parents Usually Start with a Parenting Plan

Typically, the first step in determining the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time is the completion of a parenting plan. Done either jointly or separately, this plan must be submitted to the court within 120 days of the divorce petition (unless an extension is filed). If parents are unable to agree, they may attend alternative dispute resolution (i.e. mediation) to work out their differences.

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