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Hillside, IL 60162

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Oak Park, IL child custody attorney for parental relocationA parent’s worst fear is waking up one day and finding their child is gone. The only way that most parents can foresee this happening is if their child is abducted by a stranger. However, kidnapping can also be done by someone you know, including your child’s other parent. If one parent decides to move to a new location with the child without the other parent’s permission, they are kidnapping their own child. In some cases, parents may choose to move with their child without realizing that this could pose an issue, but it is important to understand that a distinct legal process must be followed in parental relocation cases.

What Is Parental Relocation?

The state of Illinois does not restrict parents from moving down the street or across town with their child, and many recently divorced parents will move from their previous residence to pursue a fresh start as a single parent. However, if a parent who has primary custody of their child, or who shares custody with the other parent, plans to move a certain distance, they must receive permission from either the other parent or from the court to ensure that both parents can continue to share in parental responsibilities and parenting time. The following situations are considered parental relocation under Illinois law:

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Hillside, IL divorce decree modification attorneyWhile some folks may believe that a divorce decree is a permanent and unchangeable legal document, there are actually many common circumstances that may call for modification of the decree. After all, life is rarely static, and you may experience a variety of life events and circumstances that might render your divorce decree unreasonable, invalid, or otherwise unfeasible. 

Typical Reasons to Change Spousal Support or Child Support

In the years following a divorce, myriad circumstances may change for one or both parties that would require post-decree modifications. This is quite common with spousal support and child support. Some common situations in which support may need to be adjusted after a divorce include:

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Oak Park child support attorneyChildren deserve to receive financial support from both of their parents, whether a mother and father are married, unmarried, or divorced. In order to help unmarried or divorced parents share the costs of raising a child, a court may order one parent to make child support payments to the other. In Illinois, child support is calculated using the “Income Shares” method, which takes both parents’ financial circumstances into consideration. If a parent fails to fulfill his or her child support obligations, he or she can face serious civil and even criminal consequences. Child support orders may be modified later if one of the parents experiences a “substantial change in circumstances” that necessitates the change.

The “Income Shares” Model for Calculating Child Support

Before major changes were made to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) in 2017, child support was determined using a simple percentage of the paying parent’s income. For example, if a parent had two children with an ex-spouse, he or she would pay a monthly child support payment that was 28 percent of his or her monthly take-home income. Currently, however, Illinois uses a different model to calculate child support. This calculation method takes both parents’ net incomes, as well as the amount of parenting time each parent has, into consideration in order to arrive at an amount that is fair and reasonable. 

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Hillside, IL family law attorney for co-parenting

If you are a newly-single parent adapting to life after divorce, moving on may be difficult, and you may be dealing with negative feelings toward your ex-spouse. Although it can be difficult to put those feelings aside, fostering the growth and development of your child should continue to be your primary goal. One dreaded scenario that may arise is meeting your ex’s new partner. This can be a challenging and stressful situation, but you will likely want to make an effort to get to know that person, as they will be a significant party in your child’s life. The following three tips can help the three of you work together as co-parents toward a happy and healthy upbringing for your child:

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Hillside post-divorce relocation attorneyThere are many reasons why a person would want to move after they have completed a divorce. Getting a new job, starting a new relationship, moving closer to family, or just getting a fresh start are all common reasons why people choose to relocate to a new home. However, when you add children into the picture, relocation could become more complicated. You cannot just pick up and move with your child if you have an existing parenting plan in place. You must first request permission to relocate from the child’s other parent. Then you must request permission to modify your parenting plan from the courts. Taking the correct steps when you are moving is the key to a successful relocation.

Notifying the Other Parent

If you have been allocated a majority of the parenting time or an equal amount of parenting time as your child’s other parent, you can request to relocate with your child. To do so, you must first provide a written notice of the relocation to your child’s other parent, and provide a copy of the notice to the clerk of the circuit court where you were divorced. The notice should be given at least 60 days in advance of the intended relocation, and it should include the date of the intended relocation, the address of your new residence, and the length of time the relocation will last (if it is not permanent).

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