Moving Homes and Child Custody Agreements: What Can You Do?
After a divorce, it’s understandable if you want to close this chapter of your life and move on. Sometimes, physically moving is one of the best ways of doing so. However, moving homes becomes a more challenging prospect in Illinois if you are divorced with children. With previously agreed-to custody and visitation agreements, picking up and moving might make it challenging to fulfill your obligations. Not to mention, if you have physical custody over your children, moving might deprive your children’s other parents of their visitation rights. All of this to say, it’s not impossible to move with children after a divorce in Illinois; it will just require more coordination with your ex-spouse and attorneys like those at Borsberry Law.
In most cases, the parent already with physical custody is the parent requesting to move. However, even parents with visitation rights can request for a child to move with them if there is evidence it’s in the best interest of their children.
In Illinois, it’s also important to distinguish between “moving” and “relocation.” As long as you have equal or majority custody of your children, you can move less than 25 miles away from where your children’s original home was/is without a formal request. However, it’s considered relocation when you:
- Move more than 25 miles from your child’s original home (in Cook, DuPage, McHenry, Kane, Lake or Will Counties)
- Move more than 50 miles from your child’s original home
- Move out of state (unless you’re still within 25 miles of your original home)
No matter your position, relocation with your child begins with a written notice to your ex-spouse announcing your intent to move and asking for permission. In Illinois, this written notice must include:
- Intended date of moving (no less than 60 days after the notice)
- Address of proposed new residence
- The intended duration of the relocation (temporary, permanent, foreseeable future)
Once this notice has been sent to your ex-spouse, one of two things will happen next. First, your ex-spouse can agree to your relocation, and an attorney and court can help renegotiate child custody terms and visitation arrangements. Or, your ex-spouse can reject your request to renegotiate custody due to relocation, and your case will proceed to court.
What Happens in Court?
Once your relocation/child custody case goes to court, it will play out similarly to previous child custody and visitation cases. Ultimately, it’s up to you to convince a judge why relocating your children is in their best interest. However, your judge will rule on a relocation request based on additional factors, such as:
- Parent’s reason for relocation
- Other parent’s reason for objection to relocation
- Time and cost required to move
- Relationship parent has with children
- The total distance of the move
- Custody/visitation concerns of other parents
- Educational opportunities available to children
- Presence of extended family in either location
Borsberry Law and family law courts cannot stress enough how crucial your children’s wishes and well-being are when considering a relocation request. Ultimately, if your children’s quality of life is impacted negatively due to relocation, you’ll have trouble convincing a judge of its need.
When Should You Call an Attorney?
Whether you wish to get ahead of custody arrangements with a relocation request or amend existing custody agreements, Borsberry Law can help. From your initial written request to your day in court, Borsberry Law’s team can provide helpful legal guidance and present your side of a case to a judge. Even if you believe your ex-spouse will be agreeable to your relocation, having an attorney assist ensures amendments to custody and visitation are done correctly.
And if you have other pressing questions about your custody and visitation rights, you can count on Borsberry Law and our experienced team of family attorneys. From divorce to adoption, we’ve assisted families throughout Central Illinois in resolving their most pressing personal legal concerns. To learn more about Borsberry Law and our services, contact us today at 309-637-9000. We are located at 203 NE Jefferson St, Peoria, IL 61602.