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Relocating after divorce: Child custody considerations

After Illinois parents of young children have divorced and have had child custody and parenting time orders issued, it is not uncommon for one or both of them to meet new partners and to then want to move on with their lives. When a parent's new partner lives elsewhere, the parent may want to relocate in order to be closer. This may cause problems whether the one who wishes to move is the one with primary custody or the one who has visitation rights.

When parents who do not have primary residential custody moves away, his or her relationship with the children may suffer, especially if the move will mean that they see the children less frequently. In some cases, they may not be able to exercise their ordered parenting time, and the other parent may ask for a modification of the child custody and parenting time order. This may mean that the parent who has moved will pay an increased amount of child support while also paying more money for traveling back and forth to see the children.

A custodial parent who wants to move should consider how it might impact the children. Relocating children may sever their connection with their support networks of family members and friends. The other parent may also lose parenting time and may object to a planned move by filing a motion with the court to contest it.

A parent who wishes to move with the children may want to talk to a family law attorney. Relocation is a sensitive issue, and in these cases, the best interests of the children will be the court's primary focus.

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