Father and son in gardenThis is the next post in a series of articles discussing Peoria, Illinois fathers’ rights in connection with requests to relocate a child outside of Illinois. My previous post discussed the need to comply with an existing court order after the conclusion of a case. This applies to both impacted parents equally. If a parent is not doing so, an experienced attorney can help you enforce your parental rights. In this article, I will address how to defend against a co-parent’s request to move with the child out of state. With so much at stake, it is imperative to engage an experienced fathers’ rights attorney to help defeat the request. If you need assistance, contact my office to speak with a Peoria lawyer today.

As discussed earlier in this series, a parent seeking to relocate with a child should provide as much specific information in support of their request as possible when initiating the case. They must demonstrate to the court that the move is in the child’s best interest and that the reasons for relocating are compelling. Similarly, when opposing a motion to relocate, Illinois fathers should be prepared to offer specific evidence directly challenging those arguments. Using the discovery process, your attorney can depose witnesses, request the production of documents, and seek written responses to questions to collect the evidence necessary to support your position.

For instance, if mom’s request identifies a city as the family’s new home without further specifics, dad may use school system rankings to show the city’s school system is poor. He may offer records from the child’s current school showing that they are at the top of their gifted classes. Statements from the school counselor that a change in school systems may negatively impact the child’s academic performance may also be important. In another example, consider a relocation request that proposes visitation every other weekend, but dad is a firefighter who works 24 hour shifts every weekend. In reality, his visitation time would be limited to one or two weeks throughout the year. It may be possible for him to challenge the request on the basis that the move will effectively prevent him from maintaining his relationship with the child. A deposition from an expert child psychologist noting the negative consequences of limited exposure to the child’s father may be persuasive to the court.

When defending against the request made by your co-parent, it is imperative to gather as much object evidence as possible. An experienced attorney will review the other parent’s evidence shared during the discovery process to prepare counterarguments. If you need assistance contact my office today to speak with a Peoria fathers’ rights lawyer. My office also represents clients in Bloomington, Decatur, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. We also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.