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How do Illinois courts approach objections to child relocation?

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2023 | family law

When a parent sharing parenting time has to relocate with their child under acceptable circumstances, they have to follow the laws on parental relocation, one of which is providing notice to the other parent and the court about the move.

If, upon notice, the other parent agrees to the relocation, the court will simply modify the parenting plan according to the parents’ agreement. However, if the other parent objects, further court action is necessary.

The court’s best bet: Guidelines to the child’s best interests

To address relocation disputes, Illinois courts weigh several factors to determine whether moving to another residence is in the child’s best interests. These factors include the following:

  • The reason for the relocation
  • The reason for the objection
  • Each parent’s relationship with the child
  • The child’s educational opportunities in the current and the proposed new residence
  • The existence of family members or relatives in the current and the proposed new residence
  • The impact of the relocation on the child
  • The possibility of reasonable allocation of parental responsibilities given the relocation
  • The possibility of exercising the new parental responsibilities given the relocation
  • The child’s preference
  • The negative effect on the parent-child relationship and whether there are ways to minimize it

The courts may consider other factors outside the list that are relevant in determining the child’s best interests. From here, they will decide whether to allow the relocation.

Prioritizing your child’s well-being

Despite conflicts between parents, it is important to make decisions with the child’s well-being as the main priority. If you believe modifying the current parenting plan or parenting time allocation is necessary for your child’s best interests, preparing a well-grounded relocation proposal is crucial. On the other hand, if you believe that your child’s relocation does not serve their best interests, you must establish a solid reason behind your objection.

Regardless of your course of action, using available resources and having competent legal guidance can guide you to your goals.