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5 Things to Consider When Moving to a New Home After Your Divorce

DuPage County divorce lawyerFor the thousands of Americans that go through the divorce process each year, change can be a welcome sight. For many couples, divorce represents a breath of fresh air after fights over their relationship, parenting responsibilities, and finances. Many people elect to move away from the area they lived in during their marriage and find a new place for them and their family to live. If you are considering a post-divorce relocation, there are many things you should think about before making the move. Below are five considerations you should evaluate before deciding on your new home:

1. The Real-Estate Market

When deciding on a new place to live after your divorce, it is important to understand the landscape of the real estate market. Are the housing prices higher or lower than your previous town or city? Is the rental market diverse enough to enable you to find the right fit for you and your children? Are there affordable neighborhoods with vibrant and safe community atmospheres? Asking these questions before you dive in to a new location can be immensely important in ensuring you find the house that is right for your family. 

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Changes to Parental Relocation in Illinois

parental relocation, DuPage County family law attorneyMany of the major changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) coming from Senate Bill 57 have to do with the concept of child custody, which has now been reframed as the concept of "parental responsibility." Rather than making custody determinations, beginning January 1, 2016, when the law goes into effect, the court will make allocations regarding decision-making responsibility and parenting time. In addition, the court's role with regard to parental relocation will also change.

Parental Relocation Under Current Law

The current version of the IMDMA requires custodial parents, or parents with whom shared children live, to obtain permission from the court in order to move outside of Illinois. In order to get permission from the court, or an "Order of Removal," the moving parent must prove that the move is in the best interests of the child.

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The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), which governs marriage, divorce, custody, and support in Illinois, is undergoing a major overhaul. Senate Bill 57, which was passed on May 31 and approved by the governor on July 21 of this year, will go into effect on January 1, 2016 and has major implications for many aspects of Illinois family law.

"Heart Balm" Action Implications

Senate Bill 57 eliminates a category of civil actions known as "heart balm" actions, due to the idea that the person bringing the lawsuit is doing so due to a broken heart. Plaintiffs will no longer be able to bring actions for alienation of affection (an action against a third party, such as a spouse's lover or family member, for causing the breakdown of the marriage), breach of promise to marry (an action against a former partner for a broken engagement), or "criminal conversion" (an action for adultery). The Illinois Bar Law Journal noted in their findings that the general assembly pointed to heart balm action as based on antiquated notions of gender roles, and used to harass rather than to mend broken hearts.

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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.

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