Child Custody Orders and Moving Out of Illinois

moving, out of state move, Illinois family law attorneyResponsible parents are always looking for ways to better their children’s lives. For some, this may mean working two jobs to provide extra income or returning to school. For others, it may mean moving into a bigger house or a better neighborhood. Sometimes, such efforts will lead a parent to consider moving to another state. While an out-of-state move may be a fairly easy decision in many cases, a parent who is subject to a child custody agreement may face additional challenges.

Petitioning for an Out-of-State Move

Before removing the child from Illinois on a permanent basis, a custodial parent must obtain the consent of the non-custodial parent. The other parent’s consent may have been included in the original custody or parenting agreement. If the other parent agrees to the move, the process is relatively simple, but the court must still be included. A court order acknowledging the desire to move and the granted consent of the other parent can help prevent future problem.

If the other parent, however, does not willfully consent to the move, the matter is then left to the discretion of the court. The parent wishing to move must file a petition seeking permission to legally remove the child from the state.

The Child’s Best Interests

Under Illinois law, the burden of proof is on the parent who wishes to move out of state. He or she must clearly demonstrate that the move will serve the best interests of the child, and not simply the parent’s own desires. In making a decision, the court should give consideration to:

  • How the move will improve the quality of life for both the parent and child;
  • The custodial parent’s motives in seeking an out-of-state move, and whether such action is being taken in good faith;
  • The non-custodial parent’s motives and good faith in opposing the move;
  • The visitation rights of the non-custodial parent; and
  • The likelihood of a realistic and workable visitation schedule can be maintained if the move is permitted.

An out-of-state move will be allowed if the overall conclusion of the court is that such a move would be in the child’s long-term best interest. In most cases, the permission would require an appropriate modification to the parents’ visitation order to address the significant geographical change.

Legal Help for Child Removal

If you currently live in Illinois but would like to move out of state, or you would like to prevent the other parent from moving with your child, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. We will review your situation, and help you understand your options on how to proceed. Call our office today for a free initial consultation.

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