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Illinois expands child custody requirements

Illinois expands child custody requirements

Sometimes, a parent finds it necessary to relocate to a new city. When there is a joint child custody arrangement, and one parent wants to move the child to another state, it can be especially challenging. In an effort to expedite child custody proceedings, Illinois recently enacted legislation that will provide a child-focused approach to cases such as these.

Under Rule 905, mediation has been a requirement for all child custody and visitation matters. Several additions to this requirement will become effective in September.

One amendment affects parents with joint custody arrangements who want to relocate their child or children to another state. Mediation will be required in this situation.

Another addition to mediation requirements will include a requirement for the court to make a good-faith effort to provide an interpreter in cases where the primary language of one or more of the participants is not English. When applicable, a pro bono attorney will also be provided.

The third addition will not directly affect families. It imposes quarterly reporting requirements on courts hearing child custody matters. In the long run, however, tracking mediation usage may further help ensure the best interests of children are taken into consideration.

Many families have found mediation preferable to court determined child custody arrangements. When both parents can separate any other issues they may have and focus on what is best for the child or children involved, a solution that is best for all parties involved can often be reached.

Parents faced with the prospect of having a child relocated to another state may benefit from contacting an attorney who can help guide them through this process.

Source: Washington Times Reporter, "Illinois Supreme Court amends select child custody rules," July 2, 2013

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