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How Courts Decide if Child Should Be Moved Out of State

How Courts Decide if Child Should Be Moved Out of State

750 ILCS 5/609.2(g)

The purpose of this blog is to inform the reader as to the procedure and law that dictates how courts decide if a child should be moved out of state after a divorce has been concluded in Illinois. Palatine divorce lawyer, James Kelly, explains:

A. Removal by Agreement vs. Removal by Contest in Court

II. Removal by Contest in Court

i. When the parties cannot agree as to the removal of a minor child then the court shall after a hearing determine whether the child should be removed. The section that controls removal when there is no agreement as to same is Section 609.2(g).

ii. This Section states that, “the court shall modify the parenting plan or allocation judgment in accordance with the child’s best interests. The Court shall consider the following factors”

3. “the history and quality of each parent’s relationship with the child and specifically whether a parent has substantially failed or refused to exercise the parental responsibilities allocated to him or her under the parenting plan or allocation judgment” This factor allows the judge to consider in a most direct fashion whether the party seeking to oppose the relocation has in fact exercised his or her visitation. Why would the judge take seriously the opposition of a parent who has not regularly exercised his or her visitation in the first place.

4. “The educational opportunities for the child at the existing location and at the proposed new location” With this factor the court can look directly at the benefits or lack thereof with the proposed school and the existing school. One would imagine that the court would look closely at the child’s current school and want to hear testimony as to the child’s relationships with teachers and other children, after school programs that the child is involved in and whether they exist in the new location. It would seem that there might be a presumption in favor of the child’s current school as long as the child is relatively happy there and his or her grades are relatively decent.

With over 23 years of experience helping clients successfully navigate through difficult times, James Kelly specializes in bankruptcy and family law; including Palatine divorce, Arlington Heights divorce, Rolling Meadows divorce, Cook County divorce and divorce in the Chicago metro area.

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