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How Could Moving Affect My Child Custody Case?

Posted on October 20, 2023 in Child Custody

IL divorce lawyerIt is fairly normal for one parent to want to move away after getting divorced. However, when making child custody decisions, a court can consider how difficult moving the child back and forth between their parents’ residences is. It is one of the factors Illinois child custody law requires judges to consider when making parenting time arrangements. When divorced parents live close to each other, it is usually very easy for them to coordinate frequent custody exchanges. When they live far apart, custody exchanges may not be possible nearly as often. This could result in an arrangement where the children need to live with one parent most of the time so that they can attend school regularly. The other parent may only be able to have parenting time during school holidays. It is important to speak with your Illinois family lawyer about how moving away could affect your child custody case. 

Difficult Custody Exchanges Can Affect Parenting Time

All child custody-related decisions in Illinois must be made based on what is in the child’s best interests. Illinois state law lists a number of factors that courts should use in determining what type of custody and visitation schedule is best for the child. One of these factors relates to how easy or difficult custody exchanges would be from a practical standpoint. 

Courts will consider the distance between the parents’ households. Traveling long distances frequently can be very hard on children, especially young children. The difficulty and cost of transporting the children back and forth also matter. If the parents can afford frequent travel and the children are old enough to fly alone, long-distance custody exchanges may not be too difficult. The situation might be different if one parent would need to fly with young children and the cost would stretch the parents’ resources. 

Any other reasons it might be difficult to move a child back and forth between households may also come into play. For example, if your child has special needs that make travel difficult, courts may want to minimize how often the child must travel. 

Even for parents who do not live very far apart, courts can consider each parent and child’s daily schedules. Making a three-hour drive may be nothing for a parent who does not have to work, but may be impossible for a parent working two jobs. Finally, courts will consider each parent's ability to cooperate with a long-distance custody arrangement. 

Contact a Naperville, IL, Child Custody Lawyer

Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C. is highly skilled in developing creative solutions for long-distance co-parents. Our experienced DuPage County child custody attorneys will do all we can to help you maintain a close relationship with your children. Contact us at 630-355-7776 for a free consultation. 

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