Moving kids after a divorce

On behalf of Lake Toback Attorneys

When an Illinois couple ends their marriage, children might go to live with a parent who will handle the primary caregiving responsibilities. If the custodial parent decides to move out of state, they will need to go before a judge who will make a final decision in the best interests of the child. The court will look at numerous factors when deciding whether to grant a petition to move away from the non-custodial parent.

The courts will look at the child’s interaction with both parents and consider their age. In some cases, a judge will request an independent evaluation by an outside professional to determine how the move will impact the child. Older children, especially those in their teens, might have the opportunity to present their thoughts to the judge in open court.

A judge will also look at how well the parents work together to raise their children. They will consider a custodial parent’s plan to keep the connection strong between the non-custodial parent and the child, including any visitation agreements. Although a custodial parent might not have to explain a move, the judge will want to be sure that they are not being vindictive or intentionally moving to spite the other parent. The court will also evaluate how far the parent is moving and would generally be favorably inclined toward a closer move. Finally, the court will want to examine how the proposed move would affect the child’s stability in terms of ties to friends and activities.

Relocating with children after a divorce can be costly in terms of the emotional separation from the non-custodial parent. A family law attorney might offer a client advice on how to contest such a proposed move.

Source: The Huffington Post , “In the Child’s Best Interest: What It Means in Move-Away Cases“, Lisa Meyer, February 12, 2014

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Moving kids after a divorce