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DuPage County Parental Relocation Attorney

Winfield parent child relocation lawyer

Lawyer For Child Relocation and Removal Cases in Wheaton and Warrenville

When parenting time is shared between divorced or unmarried parents, any time in which a parent is apart from his or her children can be difficult. Many parents continue to live in fairly close proximity to each other, which at least makes it possible for both parents to spend significant time with the children on a regular basis. However, when one parent intends to relocate to a new home a substantial distance away, it raises new challenges that must be resolved through the legal system.

At Hensley Sendek Law, Attorney Jessica Sendek can help parents take the necessary steps to relocate legally, or contest a relocation that is unlawful or against the children's best interests. She brings more than 10 years of experience with complex child custody and family law issues to her practice, and she will handle your case with the personal attention it deserves to help you protect your children and your relationship with them.

Parental Relocation Laws in Illinois

Under Illinois law, a parenting plan is required to include a provision for a parent to notify the other parent of any move to a new residence so that both parents remain aware of the children's living arrangements. Moves of a short distance typically require no further legal action, but a longer-distance move may qualify as a relocation, and these cases are subject to a more stringent legal process. In Illinois, a move is considered a relocation if the parent's new residence is:

  • Within the State of Illinois but more than 25 miles from the child's current primary residence in DuPage County, Cook County, Kane County, Will County, Lake County, or McHenry County
  • Within the State of Illinois but more than 50 miles from the child's current primary residence in any other county in Illinois
  • Outside of the State of Illinois and more than 25 miles from the child's current primary residence in any Illinois county

When a parent intends to relocate with the children under one of these three circumstances, they must first notify the other parent in writing, at least 60 days before the relocation whenever possible, and give the other parent the opportunity to respond. The other parent may sign the notice to indicate consent to the relocation, in which case it can be filed with the court for approval.

However, if the other parent objects to the relocation, the parent seeking relocation will need to obtain permission from the court. As with all other child-related issues, the court will consider the children's best interests in deciding whether to grant permission. In relocation cases, the court will specifically consider factors including:

  • The reasons for the relocation and the other parent's objections to it
  • The children's wishes
  • Educational opportunities for the children and extended family in the new intended location
  • The feasibility of modifying the parenting time schedule and arranging for transportation between the parents' residences
  • The impact of the relocation on the children's relationships with both parents

Whether both parents agree to the relocation or the decision is left to the court, it will be necessary to update the parenting plan to account for the increased distance. This may include new travel arrangements, adjustments to parental decision-making responsibilities, provisions for electronic communication, and a new parenting time schedule.

Contesting the Other Parent's Relocation

If you believe that a relocation is not in your children's best interests, you can choose not to sign the other parent's notice and work with your attorney to prepare to make your case in court that the move should not be permitted. You should be prepared to present evidence and testimony regarding the hardship that the move will cause you or your children.

You also have options if the other parent relocates with your children without providing notice or obtaining consent or permission. You and your attorney can petition the court to order the other parent to rectify the situation or possibly be held in contempt of court for violating the child custody order. If your child has been unlawfully removed across state lines, your attorney can help you ensure that your case is handled under Illinois jurisdiction according to the terms of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), and if they have been abducted to a foreign country, you can apply for their return based on the terms of the international Hague Convention.

Contact a Wheaton Child Relocation Lawyer

If you are trying to relocate with your child or contest a relocation, it is important to understand your rights and options. We can help with a free consultation when you contact us at 630-358-9029, and we are prepared to take your case when you need strong legal representation. We serve clients in Wheaton, Naperville, Winfield, Warrenville, West Chicago, Lisle, Lombard, and throughout DuPage County, Kane County, Cook County, Will County, and surrounding areas.

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