It may not be uncommon for a parent to want to relocate to another state with their children for purposes of work, to pursue a relationship, to be closer to family, or simply to start anew. While moving for those reasons may be in the parent’s best interests, it may not necessarily be in their children’s.

This is an important distinction, as the best interests of your children are of paramount importance in child custody disputes. Courts have been known to shy away from disrupting a child’s relationship with a non-custodial parent when that parent is involved in the child’s life.

The legal team at the Reidy Law Office LLC recognizes that both custodial and non-custodial parents have legal rights that warrant protection during any relocation proceedings. Whether you are seeking approval to move with your children or are challenging their other parent’s desired relocation, a Joliet relocation lawyer could help you to effectively present your case before the court. Our compassionate attorneys could help you establish your parental rights and pursue the best course of action for the well being of your child.

Seeking Relocation Approval in Joliet

In Illinois, matters of parental relocation are governed by Section 609.2 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. Pursuant to this Act, a parent seeking to relocate with their child, known as the “Relocating Parent,” must provide written notice to the “Non-Relocating Parent” in accordance with the established parenting plan or the judgment allocating parental responsibilities.

If the Non-Relocating Parent signs the notice, then relocation is typically approved so long as it is in the child’s best interests. If the Non-Relocating Parent opposes the relocation, then the Relocating Parent may petition the court for approval. Following that, the burden of proof may be on them to show that the move is in the children’s best interests.

The court considers several factors in making its determination, which may include:

  • Why the Relocating Parent seeks the move, as well as why the Non-Relocating Parent opposes the move
  • The history and quality of each parent’s relationship with the children
  • The expected improvement—or decline—in the children’s educational opportunities
  • The preference of the children, if they are of sufficient maturity and capacity to make a rational decision
  • Potential harm to the children from diminished involvement with the Non-Relocating Parent

These petitions are reviewed on an individual basis, and ultimately the outcome could be determined by the circumstances of your relocation case, the discretion of the court, and the representation you receive from a Joliet relocation lawyer.

Disputing Relocation

If you are involved in your children’s lives and have fulfilled your support obligations and are concerned that the relocation of your children may negatively impact your parenting rights, whether you have legal custody of the child or not, then you could dispute the relocation.

A relocation attorney in Joliet could use restraining orders and other legal measures to attempt to prevent the relocation, examine the other parent’s motives, and help you demonstrate to the court that the relocation would injure your relationship with your children.

Talk to a Joliet Relocation Attorney

At Reidy Law Office LLC, we are experienced in handling all aspects of child custody, from initial negotiations to formal legal proceedings. Enlist our help today by scheduling your consultation. A dedicated Joliet relocation lawyer from our firm could answer your questions and explain our practice and methodology.