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Protecting Your Rights In Family Matters

What it means to relocate in good faith

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2021 | Child Custody

Having divorced parents raise a child in the same community is often the preferable way to give a child a stable upbringing. The problem is that sometimes one parent lacks the financial or familial support to raise a child. This is why sometimes parents decide to relocate to a different community, and they may want to take their child with them.

Relocating can be a contentious issue. The parent who stays may worry that the relocating parent is trying to take their child away. State courts understand that a parent may not always want to relocate in good faith.

Good faith reasons for relocating

FindLaw explains that courts may find a good reason to approve a relocation if a parent seeks to better his or her own life and the life of the child. A parent may move to an area with a better cost of living. This frees up the parent to pay more on the child’s schooling, medical needs or clothing. A parent may also want to get closer to family members who can help raise the child.

A parent might also want to find a better paying job elsewhere. The prospect of a higher income could help benefit the child. Some parents relocate so they can go back to college or attend a school to learn a new trade. Getting an education may lead to a better job.

Relocating in bad faith

In Illinois, a non-relocating parent may object to a move, explaining that the other parent has bad faith reasons to want to relocate. These may include removing the child as an act of spite or revenge for perceived past wrongs. The staying parent may also object on the grounds the relocating parent has a poor record of visitation or caring for the child.

State law takes parental relocation seriously. Courts may even forbid relocations more than 25 miles away from a current residence in certain counties in Illinois. So a parent who wants to relocate must make a convincing case that the move is for good reasons that will benefit the child.