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Cook County parenting plan modification lawyerDivorce often means many changes for both the couple that is ending their marriage and any children they have. In some cases, one of the parents may decide a change of scenery will be good for him or her as a way of moving on. In addition, a parent may want to move to be closer to family for support, or a job transfer may take him or her to another city or state. Regardless of the reasons, relocating with a child after a divorce can prove to be a difficult adjustment for all involved. Under Illinois law, in order for the custodial parent to move out of the state, he or she may require permission from his or her child’s other parent or from the court. 

Coming to an Agreement

In Illinois, the parent who wishes to relocate with the child must provide a minimum of 60 days’ notice (in writing) to the other parent. A copy of the notice will also need to be submitted in family court and include the date of the move, the location of the new residence, and approximately how long the relocation will last.

If the custodial parent receives approval from the child’s noncustodial parent to move out of the state, the parents can usually avoid further legal action, although the court will need to give final approval based on what is in the child’s best interests. It is important to put any agreement in writing and have it notarized. This helps make sure both parents are protected regarding parenting time (visitation) arrangements. 

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Oak Park parenting plan enforcement attorneyManaging a divorce can be a stressful and difficult situation for all parties involved, but it is critical to remember that the child’s needs are what is most important. Adolescents who have the opportunity to spend time and receive love and affection from both parents have been shown to have more mental and emotional stability. Visitation, which is now referred to as parenting time in the state of Illinois, is the regular time that a parent is granted with his or her child in the divorce decree. However, in some cases, one parent might not follow the legally binding court orders that were set in place. When this occurs, it is crucial to work with a family law attorney to determine what legal steps should be taken. 

How Is Parenting Time Established?

According to 750 ILCS 5/602.7, parenting time rights can first be decided upon by the child's parents if they present a written parenting plan that the court can approve. When an arrangement cannot be agreed upon by both parties, however, a judge will make the decision based on multiple relevant factors. Parents are presumed to be fit, and both parents have a right to reasonable parenting time. Unless it is demonstrated through compelling evidence that the child's physical, mental, or emotional health is put at risk by being with one parent, there typically will not be any restrictions put in place on either parent’s parenting time.

Consequences of Violating Parenting Time

When a divorce decree is issued, it functions as a court order that parents are required to follow. If it is determined by a judge that one of the parents has disregarded a court-ordered parenting agreement, that parent may be penalized in a variety of ways, including:

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