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Keys to Winning a Child Relocation Case

 Posted on January 09, 2020 in Relocation

Keys to Winning a Child Relocation CaseDeciding whether to allow a divorced parent to relocate with their child can be a complicated issue for a family court. Courts in Illinois are supposed to use the child’s best interest as the primary consideration, but there are often positives on both sides of the argument. Is providing the child a better living situation more important than being able to see both parents regularly? There is no perfect answer to this question because both are important to a child’s wellness and development. If you are trying to relocate with your child, the key is to understand how the court will make its decision.

Statutory Factors

As of 2016, Illinois has 11 factors that courts must consider when ruling on a contested child relocation case. One of the factors is broadly described as anything that affects the child’s best interest, meaning that almost anything related to your children could be a factor. However, the court will not weigh all of the factors equally. For instance, the court will not consider the child’s preference as strongly if the child is not mature enough to decide where they should live. The primary factors that courts consider include:

  • Why the one parent wants to relocate
  • Why the other parent contests the relocation
  • How the relocation would affect the child
  • Whether the other parent could still have reasonable parenting time with the child

Making Your Case

When requesting to relocate with your child, you must show how the positives for your child would outweigh any negatives. You should frame each argument around why the relocation would be better than your current situation and how you would minimize the negative impactive it may have on your child’s relationship with their other parent:

  • You may be taking a new job that would allow you to better provide for your child.
  • A job opportunity of a similar value may not be available where you are currently living.
  • You may be moving to a neighborhood that is safer and has better schools.
  • You can explain how you would cooperate with your co-parent to allow continued parenting time and regular long-distance communication.

Contact a Naperville, Illinois, Divorce Attorney

You should remember that the court is deciding whether your child should be allowed to relocate, not whether you can relocate. If you insist on relocating without proving why it is better for your child, the court may decide that it is in your child’s best interest to live with your co-parent for a majority of the time. A DuPage County divorce lawyer at Calabrese Associates, P.C., understands which factors the court will most strongly consider during a child relocation case. To schedule a consultation, call 630-393-3111.


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