Learning that your child’s other parent wants to relocate your child can be a frightening experience. Your child, possibly hours away, could end up visiting you even less frequently. Those opportune moments that have given you extra time with them – when the other parent has to work late or go to the doctor – might no longer be available to you. How do you deal with this potential tragedy, and is there anything you can do to stop the move? The answer really depends on the situation. However, the following information could help you determine what your options for stopping a child relocation might be.
Removals Must Be Approved by the Court
One of the biggest fears that parents express is the idea that their child’s other parent will move without notice, or before they have had the chance to make their case as to why the move should not happen. Rest assured: child relocations must first be cleared through the court. If, by chance, your child is removed without seeking prior approval, there are steps that you can take. In all other instances, you will be given a chance to have your position heard before a relocation order is granted.
How a Relocation Request Is Granted
When a parent wants to relocate their child, they must take the proper steps to do so. First, they must petition the court and explain why they feel a relocation is necessary or beneficial. The court will then take their request into consideration and use several factors to determine if a removal order should be granted. These include:
- The degree to which a removal will impact a child’s general quality of life;
- Legitimacy of the moving parent’s motive for relocation;
- Your motives in resisting the move;
- How your parenting time will be affected;
- How your relationship with your child could be affected;
- If the move is in the best interest of the child (particularly their interest in maintaining a healthy relationship with both parents); and
- If a reasonable parenting plan could be implemented following the proposed move.
Any one of these factors could lead to a denial of the request for removal. For example, if your child’s other parent has a history of not showing up at drop-offs when it is your scheduled parenting time, the courts could reason that the move might have more to do with restricting your rights than a job, family, or a better life for the child. In response, they may deny the request. Alternatively, if a reasonable parenting time schedule cannot be made because of the child’s age, or parental limitations, like income or work schedules, the proposed move may be denied.
It is important to keep in mind that your motive for wanting to stop the move must also be considered a valid one. If, for example, you often fail to keep your scheduled parenting time, your claim of wanting to stop the move because your relationship with your child would be adversely affected may not be considered a valid one.
Fight Relocation with Skilled Legal Help
When you have a valid reason for wanting to stop a relocation, or when you know that a relocation could have serious negative effects on your relationship with your child, it is critical to get skilled and experienced legal help. Dedicated to preserving the best interest of your child, and the relationship you have with them, we at Mulyk Laho Law, LLC will go above and beyond to help you fight against a child relocation. To discuss your case, contact our experienced DuPage County family law attorneys and schedule a free consultation today. Call 630-852-1100.