After your family law matter is resolved, your next steps will focus on moving forward with your life. Sometimes, this means finding a new job or pursuing a different career path. Or, you may want to begin a new relationship with a significant other. Often, after a family law dispute has been settled, one party may wish to relocate to a different city, state or country. There are many reasons you may wish to move, and you may want to relocate with your child. Parents wishing to move with their child may face legal challenges related to child custody.
Deciding Child Custody
In Illinois, every child-related family law matter is determined based on the child’s best interests. How are the child’s best interests defined? State law sets out a list of factors that a judge must consider when making that decision. When a judge awards custody, he or she will consider the following:
- Each parent’s wishes, as well as the child’s wishes regarding custody;
- The child’s relationship with each parent and other family members;
- How the child has adjusted to his home, school, and community;
- The parents’ and the child’s mental and physical condition;
- Whether any domestic violence or threat of violence has occurred;
- Each parent’s willingness and ability to foster a close relationship between the child and the other parents;
- Whether either parent is a sex offender; and
- Parenting plan considerations if a parent is being deployed in the military.
The specific arrangement in custody will depend on your child’s best interests, as determined according to the above factors. If you are your child’s custodial parent, meaning that they primarily reside with you, you may have to ask the court’s permission to relocate.
Relocating Out Of State vs. Within the State
Sometimes necessary life events, such as moving, can complicate custody matters even after a custody case is resolved. As a custodial parent, you can usually relocate within the state without asking the court’s permission. For example, you may be able to move from Wheaton to Downers Grove without the court’s permission. Often, how far away you can move from the child’s other parent will be specified in the custody order or agreement. However, before you permanently relocate with your child to another state, you must seek the court’s permission or the other parent’s consent.
Like determining custody, the court will grant or deny your request to relocate to another state based on your child’s best interests. You must prove to the court that moving is in your child’s best interests. In these cases, many judges are particularly concerned with how a child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent will be affected. You may need to prove that your child can have a close, meaningful relationship with their other parent even after relocating. If the court permits the relocation, you must keep the other parent updated with your child’s phone number and address.
Call Reliable Naperville Family Lawyers
Sometimes, custody disputes do not cease after the original matter has settled. As children and families grow, custody arrangements may need adjustments. If you have a continuing custody concern, contact the experienced family lawyers at Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. We have served clients throughout the Wheaton and Naperville areas for over 35 years. Call us today at (630) 961-0060 for a free initial consultation.