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What factors are considered when seeking parental relocation?

One of the most difficult issues that arises in Illinois when it comes to parenting time and child custody is if the custodial parent decides to relocate. Parental relocation can cause an emotional upheaval to both the child and the parent who is likely to have a more difficult time seeing the child after relocation. Having an understanding of the law and how the court determines whether or not to modify the parenting plan is important for both parents in situations such as this.

The best interests of the child will come first in the eyes of the court. There are numerous factors that will be considered when the decision is made as to whether or not to allow relocation and allow agreement modification. They include the reasons and circumstances for which the relocation is taking place, why a parent might be objecting to the relocation, the relationships of each parent with the child and if a parent has refused or failed to fulfill the parental responsibilities that were detailed in the judgment or plan and the educational opportunities that child has at the current location and will have at the new location.

Other issues that are considered are whether there is a presence or absence of an extended family at the current location and the new location, what the impact of the relocation is likely to be for the child, if the court is able to create a reasonable way to allocate the parental responsibilities if the relocation is allowed, what the child wants depending on his or her maturity and ability to express those preferences, based on circumstances, what the arrangements for parental responsibilities will be, how the parent-child relationship can be maintained and any other issue that is deemed relevant.

There are often valid reasons why a parent would like to relocate from the current location. It is important to bear in mind that this can have an influence on the child and the other parent. This is why the courts have such a wide view of how to decide to allow or not allow a parental relocation. For assistance with this complex issue, it is wise to speak to an experienced legal professional with a history of handling matters related to divorce and child custody.

Source: ilga.gov, "Sec. 609.2. Parent's relocation. -- (g)," accessed on Dec. 15, 2015

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