When divorced parents live across town from each other, they may agree to a drop off/pick up point at roughly equal distances from their respective homes to facilitate shared custody, a detail typically included in a parenting plan.
If a parent moves to a neighboring city at a greater distance, sometimes the other parent may not agree to a new middle point, wanting to keep the old rendezvous point even if it is not convenient or cost effective to the relocating parent. For moves of a considerable distance, one parent may refuse to take on the additional hassle or expense to even attempt to meet the relocating parent halfway or at all.
When one parent relocates to a distant location within the same state or moves out of state, the parents will need to seek a modification to the order to come up with a new parenting plan which may include not only a revised parenting time schedule but also how transportation to and from the new location will be handled and who will bear the cost.
Depending on how far the relocating parent is moving, they may need the blessing of the other parent if children are involved. If the parenting time arrangement needs to change due to the relocation, the relocating parent will to file to modify the existing order.
If the relocating parent is seeking a new middle ground to drop off or pick up kids or is hoping to share transportation costs of facilitating child visits in the new location, a judge may or may not approve a new meeting point or that transportation costs will be shared depending on how much of an hardship it represents to the spouse staying put.
Since the requesting spouse is the one that moved, the judge may not find that the other spouse should share the burden – financially or otherwise – unless the relocating spouse can prove the move is in the child’s best interests. Examples which may include: taking a better job in another location or other opportunities that come with the move that offer a significant benefit to the child. Remember, until the court order changes, it is important to follow the existing order to avoid any legal repercussions. .
When you have child relocation questions, the best approach is to discuss your concerns with an experienced Illinois child custody attorney who can advise you on the best strategy to ensure that you can see your children and share some of the expenses to facilitate visits if you are considering a move to a new location. Contact Attorney Ronald L Bell & Associates, PC today at 847-495-6000.