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Forcing Parents to Chose Between Employment and Custody is Not in Children's Best Interest

During a pending civil case involving the custody or visitation of minor children, a parent must request permission to remove the children to another state before doing so. This means that if the parent is offered a job in another state and they want to take their children with them they must first be granted permission for the removal.

The most important question in removal cases is determining whether the move is in the best interest of the child. Illinois courts have the power to grant removal on both a temporary and a permanent basis.

In a recent Illinois Appellate Court decision, the trial court's decision to deny the mother permanent removal of the minor after previously allowing the temporary removal was arbitrary and against the manifest weight of the evidence.

In In re Marriage of Smith the mother was granted permission for temporary removal of the minor in order to take a job in Ohio. After two years and a hearing on the final issues, including the permanent removal issue, the trial court rendered an "either-or" decision. Option one - the mother moves back to Illinois within 30 days and retains primary physical custody with both parents having joint legal custody. Option two - the mother does not move back to Illinois within 30 days and sole legal custody is given to the father.

The decision forced the mother to choose between employment and custody. The 5th Appellate District noted that forcing the mother to make that kind of decision could not be in the best interest of the child. The court also noted parents are not required to exhaust all employment opportunities in Illinois before seeking employment out of state.

For more information on removal, please feel free to contact The Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler in Rockford, IL at 815-981-4859 for a free consultation. Please note, the above does not constitute legal advice. Please discuss your specific rights with an attorney in your own jurisdiction.

Source: http://www.state.il.us/court/Opinions/AppellateCourt/2013/5thDistrict/5130349.pdf

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