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Child Custody Attorneys for Parental Relocation Clients in Barrington, Mount Prospect and Palatine

For various reasons, a family may relocate a number of times over a period of years. In most instances, our laws guarantee an unrestricted right to travel between states. However, where a divorce is concerned, some restrictions do apply. Specifically, a custodial parent’s relocation is not always consistent with the best interest of the children. Most divorced parents need special permission from a competent court to take the children outside Illinois, either temporarily or permanently.

At Glasgow & Olsson, we work quickly to resolve these matters before they become expensive and time-consuming disputes that no one really wants. At the same time, we are aware of your rights and interests, and we serve as an advocate both inside and outside a courtroom. Our overall goal is to help the court fashion workable orders that give you the ability to make the best decisions possible for your family’s future.

An Informal Presumption

Although it is certainly not true in all cases and in all courts, most family law judges abide by the premise that it is best to leave well enough alone, especially where children are concerned. That being said, custodial parents who file a petition to relocate a minor child essentially must prove two things. A judge must be convinced that the family’s current environment is at least somewhat undesirable, and that the proposed new residence would be a substantial improvement.

By the same token, a parent who contests a relocation petition may only need to disprove one of these elements. If the ex-spouses are fairly effective co-parents, the children are reasonably well provided for and well-adjusted, and there are few or no concrete benefits associated with relocation, a judge may hesitate to grant a petition.

Legal Considerations

Sometimes, the parties include an Order of Removal in the divorce decree, especially regarding an intrastate relocation to another Illinois county. Typically, however, the party wishing to relocate must file a petition. The court can consider a wide range of factors, including:

  • The current visitation schedule;
  • A parent’s motives to relocate, as well as the motives of the parent contesting relocation;
  • How removal would affect the noncustodial parent’s contact with the children; and
  • The likelihood that relocation would mean an enhanced quality of life for the children.

There is a similar procedure if a parent wishes to take the children out of the country. In these cases, to help ensure that the children return, a judge may sometimes require the parent to offer some security.

In practical terms, a judge generally looks favorably on a relocation if the child is physically or emotionally in danger, an employment-based relocation, or a move to seek medical treatment in another state.

Life happens, and relocation is often, although not always, necessary. If your family is in transition, contact Glasgow & Olsson at 847.577.8700 for your consultation. Our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience with child custody and serve clients in Cook County, Kane County, DuPage County and throughout the Chicagoland area.