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Moving with Children After Divorce

After a divorce, one's life changes in many ways. In addition to learning a new dynamic with an ex-spouse, it often requires learning a new dynamic with children. For many people, part of adjusting to these changes is relocating. Sometimes people relocate to be closer to family or to begin a new career. Sometimes relocation helps to "start over" or seek new opportunities in a new place, and sometimes those new opportunities are out-of-state. Those looking to relocate out of state with children have a hurdle between themselves and a big move--they are required to get an order of removal.

What Is an Order of Removal?

An order of removal is a court order that provides permission for a parent to remove his or her child from Illinois. An order of removal is not required for short trips, such as vacations, so long as the other parent agrees. It is also not required for relocation within the state; however, if a relocation within the state disrupts the custody and visitation arrangements, a judge may not allow the child to relocate.

new dynamic with children. For many people, part of adjusting to these changes is relocating. Sometimes people relocate to be closer to family or to begin a new career. Sometimes relocation helps to "start over" or seek new opportunities in a new place, and sometimes those new opportunities are out-of-state. Those looking to relocate out of state with children have a hurdle between themselves and a big move--they are required to get an order of removal.

What Is an Order of Removal?

An order of removal is a court order that provides permission for a parent to remove his or her child from Illinois. An order of removal is not required for short trips, such as vacations, so long as the other parent agrees. It is also not required for relocation within the state; however, if a relocation within the state disrupts the custody and visitation arrangements, a judge may not allow the child to relocate.

How Do I Get One?

Someone who is interested in relocating out-of-state with children for whom there is a custody arrangement in place will have to go in front of the court to argue in favor of relocation. According to Illinois law, the party wanting to relocate has the burden of proving that the move is in the best interests of the child. Petitions are granted on a case-by-case basis; it's important to provide the court with ways in which the move would benefit the child, such as benefits to health, educational or extracurricular opportunities, access to other family members, or increased economic security.

According to a 1988 Supreme Court of Illinois case, the court will consider a variety of factors, such as:

  • The reason for the move;
  • The reason for opposing the move;
  • The existing visitation and custody schedule;
  • The feasibility of establishing an alternative visitation and custody schedule;
  • The benefit of the move to the parent and/or the child;
  • The effect of the relocation on the other parent's time with the child;
  • Potential harm to the child of change to visitation or custody arrangement; and
  • The overall effect of the other parent not being in the child's life on a day-to-day basis.

Orders of removal are always required, even when the relocated parent has sole custody. A parent is only allowed to relocate without obtaining an order of removal when the original divorce agreement contained a provision granting permission for removal.

Schedule a Consultation Today

If you are considering relocating with your child, contact our skilled DuPage County relocation attorneys at The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. for help. Our experienced attorneys are ready to discuss your case. Call our office at 630-462-9500 for a consultation today.

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The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.
1776 S. Naperville Road - Building B, Suite 202
Wheaton, IL 60189

Phone: 630-690-6077
Phone: 630-462-9500
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