Frankfort Law Group
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Child custody and parental relocation

When a divorce is finalized, parties may find themselves breathing a sigh of relief, and for good measure. Divorce, after all, marks a new beginning, and former spouses may be happy to put behind them the emotional pain they suffered during the marriage and the divorce process. They may also feel a weight lifted off of their shoulders, knowing that critical family law legal issues, such as property division and spousal support, have been settled. Despite the relief of initially handling those issues, though, an Illinois resident may find him or herself continuing to deal with divorce legal issues well after marriage dissolution.

This may be especially true when it comes to children. Child custody and child support can be modified when changes arise, but that's not the only time a problem can pop up. For example, many custodial parents, at one time or another, find themselves wanting to relocate with their children. It may sound easy enough, but this desire can kick start a legal battle.

Of course, relocation is easy when the custodial and noncustodial parent agree, but when they disagree, a judge will have to decide whether or not the relocation is in the child's best interests. When making this determination, a judge will look at several factors, including the child's relationship with each parent, the reason for the move, how the move will affect the child, the opportunities available to the child at the proposed location compared to where he or she currently resides and the child's wishes.

This means that custodial parents who want to move with their child need to be prepared to convince a judge why it is best for their child to do so. This means gathering evidence and creating a legal argument that is conniving. It also means anticipating how the child's other parent will respond and preparing a counter-argument. In many cases, having the skill and experience of a family law attorney can prove beneficial. This can help a parent fully understand the rights afforded to them and how best to proceed.

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