What a couple with children breaks up, one of the first issues they must address is the issue of child custody. A child custody agreement will generally address all aspects relating to the care of the child, specifying living arrangements, parenting time and visitation schedules, and the division of decision-making abilities relating to the child’s upbringing. Once the final order is signed by the judge, both parents are legally required to adhere to the terms of the order.
Many parents are relieved to have things settled and believe that the order will stand as is until the child reaches adulthood. However, this is not always the case. Most families experience at least a couple of significant life changes that requires the order to be modified.
Relocation requires a modification of your custody agreement
For example, a parent may get a job in another state, which requires them to relocate out-of-state with the child. Before a parent can legally move with the child out-of-state, more than 25 miles away from their current residence, the court most likely must approve the relocation.
Under Part VI of the Illinois’ Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, courts will only approve a relocation if it is in best interest of the child. Courts will consider:
- The reason and/or necessity for the move
- The new distance between the parents
- How the move would positively and negatively affect the child
- How the other parent’s visitation rights and parenting time will be impacted
- The reasons why the other parent is objecting to the move
- Whether it is possible to create a new visitation schedule that is realistic and affordable
If you are thinking about relocating and would like to modify your child custody order, but your ex is objecting to the move, a family law attorney can help you prove your case in front of a judge.