Mediation for Child Relocation Disputes
When divorced or unmarried parents share custody of a child, moving to a new residence can present a significant challenge. Courts typically approve parental relocations if both parents agree to the move and the move is in the child's best interests. However, the situation becomes much more complicated legally and personally if one of the parents disagrees with the move.
If you or your child's other parent intend to move and you disagree with their intention, family law mediation may help you and the other parent negotiate a mutually-agreeable arrangement.
Illinois Law Regarding Child Relocation
"Relocation" describes moving to a new residence that is a significant distance away from the old residence. For parents in the collar counties of Illinois, a move is considered a relocation if the new residence is 25 miles away or more. For Illinois residents outside the collar counties, the cut-off is 50 miles.
Under Illinois law, the relocating parent must obtain permission from the court or approval from the non-relocating parent to move with the child to a new residence. If the other parent does not agree to the relocation, the next step is to petition the court for permission to move. The court will make a determination that is in the child's best interests after evaluating all of the evidence and arguments presented by the parents.
However, you may be able to avoid the stress and expense of a court hearing by working out an arrangement with your ex through mediation.
The Mediation Process for Child Relocation
During mediation, the parents are encouraged to discuss their respective positions and interests, as well as the best interests of their child. A skilled mediator can help foster a productive dialogue between the parents and guide them toward an agreement that everyone can live with.
The mediator may make suggestions for potential parenting plans, such as expanding visitation periods or allowing virtual visits if it is not possible to reach a physical visitation arrangement. The parents may also discuss creative ways of keeping the child in touch with their extended family, such as connecting via video chat or sending care packages.
A successful mediation experience should result in an agreement that is fair and equitable for both parents and is beneficial for the child. This agreement can be submitted to the court for a judge's approval or incorporated into the parenting plan.
Contact Our St. Charles Child Relocation Lawyer and Mediator
Mediation is an alternative resolution method that may help parents avoid the courtroom. At Shaw Sanders, P.C., we recognize the value that the mediation process has during divorce, child custody disputes, child relocation disputes, and other family law matters. Kane County attorney Matt Shaw is a knowledgeable mediator with decades of experience helping parents reach out-of-court agreements. Call our office at 630-584-5550 and set up a free consultation to learn more about our services.