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Arlington Heights family law attorney parental relocationBeing free to move about the country is one of the rights and privileges enjoyed by all Americans, and being divorced does not necessarily remove this option from the table, even if child custody is shared. For relocations of a significant distance, Illinois law requires a legal process to be followed, ensuring that the rights of both parents are taken into account, and most importantly, the best interests of the child. Ignoring these requirements can lead to significant consequences, including modification of the custody arrangement in favor of the other parent, so working with an experienced family law attorney to ensure the applicable rules are followed is critical.

In one recent case, a drawn out custody fight that now straddles the court systems in Illinois and Massachusetts illustrates how dire the consequences can be for violating parental relocation laws. This case includes an allegation of unauthorized parental relocation as one of the issues both courts are being asked to sort out, and the Illinois court issued an arrest warrant for the father after he failed to attend six hearings related to the relocation. Fortunately, conflict does not have to escalate to this level, as long as parents meet their legal requirements when relocating. 

What Is Considered Relocation?

Not every move will trigger the provisions regarding parental relocation, just those likely to interfere with the other parent’s ability to participate in the child’s life. Thus, when a parent in Illinois who holds the majority of the parenting time, or shares parenting time equally, wishes to move with the child, court approval is necessary, if one of the following is true:

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co-parenting relationship, Palatine Child Custody AttorneyA Florida mother, who violated the terms of a child custody agreement by refusing to turn her four-year-old son over to the father for an agreed upon circumcision, finally consented to having the procedure done at the end of May. During the court proceeding, the judge advised the parents that as they continue to raise their son, disagreements need to be worked out through communication, and not by taking the law into their own hands.

Advice, however, is sometimes easier to give than to take. When a relationship ends because the spouses cannot get along, how are they supposed to work together to raise their children?

While it may not be easy, successful co-parenting is possible after a relationship has ended.

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