Children moving into houseThis is the fourth post in a series of articles discussing the rights of Peoria, Illinois fathers related to requests to relocate a child out of state. My previous article addressed the need for the requesting parent to have a detailed plan in place to present to the court before seeking permission to move. The more detailed the plan, the better the chance of getting the court’s approval. In this post, I will discuss the process for filing a request for relocation with the court. It is important to understand the legal formalities involved in this type of custody matter. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the process. If you need assistance, contact my office today to speak to a lawyer.

Parents who are subject to an existing child custody order are required to obtain permission from the Illinois courts before moving with a child outside of the state. Many parents mistakenly believe that this is just a formality, however, a judge will carefully review whether granting permission is in the child’s best interest. As discussed in the previous post, before seeking the court’s permission to relocate a child outside of Illinois, the requesting parent should gather as much detailed information about the move as possible. To initiate the proceeding, an attorney will file a Motion Requesting Relocation Outside of Illinois with the court. The motion will be accompanied by exhibits, which will include the specific details of your relocation plan, such as living arrangements, employment or financial support, and proposed visitation schedules with the other parent. Because these requests are often opposed by the co-parent, I cannot overemphasize the importance of retaining an attorney to represent your interests in the process.

After the motion is filed, the court will provide the other parent with a copy of the request and schedule an initial hearing. If timing is an issue, due to a pending job offer for example, the requesting party may ask the court to hear the case on an expedited basis. The other parent will be given the opportunity to oppose the motion and present their own information to the court defending against the request. In some cases, if the co-parent does not oppose the request, the court may approve the motion at the initial hearing. Realistically, however, the court will do one of three things. The court may deny the request outright, grant temporary permission pending a trial to determine permanent custody arrangements, or refuse permission pending a subsequent trial. If a court does not immediately approve the request, this does not mean the requesting parent cannot move. It simply means the parent cannot relocate with the child at that time. When both parents have reasonable arguments, the most likely outcome is that the court will schedule a trial, at which each side can present evidence in support of their positions. A judge’s decision will be based on the specifics of each case.

Given the highly contentious nature of relocation cases, it is imperative to retain experienced counsel to assist you through the process. 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.