Can I move back to my home state with my child?

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Can I move back to my home state with my child?

About 3 years ago, I moved from my hometown to another state so that my ex and I could have a relationship. We had a child together but our relationship did not work out, as sometimes happens. My son’s father and I have joint custody as per a court order. Our son lives with me 3 weeks out of the month and then goes to his father’s house for 1 week. His father is not paying his court-ordered child support and this is keeping me from being able to receive state assistance so that I might be able to earn a wage to support my child and myself. All of my family are back in my former state of residence and all of them have said that if I were willing to move back, they would give me and my child a place to live and assist me with child care.

Asked on November 13, 2012 under Family Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unless your custody agreement directly addresses this issue, you must request the courts permission regarding your relocation. The burden will be on you and the court will look at the "best interest" of your child in making its determination. There are numerous factors that a judge must consider in deciding whether removing a child out of state i appropriate. The factors may or may not be given the same amount of weight by the court and will depend on the particular facts of the case.

Factors in favor of allowing such a would be things such as: the likelihood that the move will enhance the quality of life for the child; a realistic visitation schedule can be reached if the move is allowed, a chance for the child to bond with extended family members, etc.

Factors weighing against such a move would be: the effect of removal on non-custodial parent's time and visitation with the child; the inability to keep a reasonable parenting or visitation schedule; the overall effect of the parent not being in child's life on a day-to-day basis, and the like.

The weight given to each factor is unique to each case. So what you need to do now is to consult with a family law attorney in your area. They can best advise as to the specifics of your situation.


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