My Employer is Requiring Me to Relocate: How Will This Affect Child Custody?
Imagine that, in the new year, your employer informs you that you will need to relocate for your job. You may be excited about the opportunity for a promotion, but you may also be worried about child custody and how your relocation will affect your parenting time responsibilities. The answer depends on a number of different factors, including where your boss wants you to relocate and how far it is from your current location. If you have questions about child custody and relocating for a new job, you should seek advice from an experienced DuPage County child custody attorney. In the meantime, here is some additional information that may be able to help you understand how a move can impact child custody.
Do You Already Have a Parenting Plan or Allocation Judgment?
The first question you will want to think about is whether your divorce is finalized and a parenting plan or allocating judgment already exists. If you are only at the early stages of a divorce or child custody case, the court can take into account a planned relocation as it considers what is in the best interests of the child. In other words, you will not need to make any modifications if parental responsibilities—including parenting time—have not yet been allocated.
However, if you are planning to move quite a distance from your current residence, it is essential to have a DuPage County family lawyer on your side to ensure that you are able to share in significant decision-making responsibilities and parenting time regardless of your physical location.
Relocation from DuPage County Under Illinois Law
If you already have a court-approved parenting plan in place or the court has already allocated parental responsibilities through an allocation judgment, then you may need to modify the existing parenting plan or allocation judgment. To be clear, you will not be seeking to modify the allocation of significant decision-making responsibilities (this parental responsibility should not be affected by the location of your job or residence), but rather you will be seeking to modify parenting time. In order to modify the parenting time under Illinois law, you have two options: either the other parent can agree to the modification, or you can show the court that there are changed circumstances that necessitate a modification to the existing parenting time allocation.
Before you move forward with plans for a modification, it is important to determine whether you are actually “relocating” as it is defined under Illinois law. While you might be referring to a new job and a change of residences as a “relocation,” this shift might not constitute a relocation under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). Relocation is defined as one of the following:
- Change of residence from DuPage County (or another county in the Chicago area) to a new residence that is more than 25 miles from the child’s current residence
- Change of residence from outside DuPage County (or other counties in the Chicago area) to a new residence that is more than 50 miles from the child’s current residence
- Change of residence from the child’s current primary address to a residence in another state that is more than 25 miles from the current residence
Contact a Child Custody Attorney in DuPage County
If what you are describing as a relocation does not meet the definition of a “relocation” under the IMDMA, you may not even need to modify parenting time. If it is a relocation, then you can move forward with modification plans with the help of an experienced Oakbrook Terrace child custody lawyer. At our firm, we have years of experience serving the Muslim community of DuPage County and can assist with your case. Contact Farooqi & Husain Law Office online or by phone at 630-909-9114.