The talk around Bloomington-Normal right now is about the possible State Farm transfers. Many folks at State Farm are divorce and have minor children here in McLean County. Just because State Farm tells you to move does not mean you will be able to take your children with you. You must typically file a Petition to Remove with the Court.
Removal, in the past, has been if you want to leave the State of Illinois. Part of the bill that the State Legislature is due to vote on this Fall modifies things a bit. Removal is replaced with "relocation," and instead of out-of-state moves, 25-mile moves are covered. This seems drastic, and I hope there is some healthy debate in the legislature before this is voted on.
If you have any questions about removal or relocation, call our firm for a free initial consultation or visit us on the web at www.BloomingtonLawGroup.com.
Here would be the new definition of relocation:
"Relocation" means a change of residence of more than 25 miles for more than 90 days that significantly impairs a parent's ability to exercise the parental responsibilities that the parent has been exercising or is entitled to exercise under a parenting plan or allocation judgment.
Here is the language of the proposed new statute:
(a) A parent's relocation constitutes a substantial change in circumstances for purposes of Section 610.5.
(b) Only a parent who has been allocated a majority of parenting time may seek to relocate with a child, except that when parents have equal parenting time, either parent may seek to relocate with a child.
(c) Any parent intending to relocate must provide at least 60 days prior written notice to any other parent under the parenting plan or allocation judgment unless such notice is impracticable (in which case written notice shall be given at the earliest date practicable) or unless otherwise ordered by the court. At a minimum, the notice must set forth the following:
(1) the intended date of the parent's relocation;
(2) the address of the parent's intended new residence, if known;
(3) the specific reasons for the parent's intended relocation;
(4) a proposal modifying the parents' parental responsibilities, if necessary, in light of the relocation; and
(5) if the parent's intended relocation requires a change in the child's school, a statement of how the relocating parent intends to meet the child's educational needs.
The court may consider a parent's failure to comply with the notice requirements of this Section without good cause (i) as a factor in determining whether the parent's relocation is in good faith; and (ii) as a basis for awarding reasonable attorney's fees and costs resulting from the parent's failure to comply with these provisions.
(d) If a parent receives a written notice of the other parent's intent to relocate and objects to the relocation, then no later than 30 days after receiving the notice, the objecting parent must file a petition setting forth objections to the proposed relocation. A petition filed under this subsection shall be expeditiously heard by the court. A parent's failure to file for the relief provided under this subsection constitutes a waiver of that parent's objections to the relocation. If the court finds that objections are made in bad faith, it shall award reasonable attorney's fees and costs to the other party.
(e) The court shall modify the parenting plan or allocation judgment to accommodate a parent's relocation as agreed by the parents, as long as the agreed modification is in the child's best interests.
(f) The court shall modify the parenting plan or allocation judgment to accommodate the relocation without changing the proportion of parental responsibilities between the parties, if practicable, as long as such a modification is in the child's best interests.
(g) If a parent's relocation makes it impracticable to maintain the same proportion of parental responsibilities between the parties, the court shall modify the parenting plan or allocation judgment in accordance with the child's best interests. The court shall consider the following factors:
(1) the factors set forth in subsection (c) of this Section;
(2) the reasons, if any, why a parent is objecting to the intended relocation;
(3) the history and quality of each parent's relationship with the child since the implementation of any previous parenting plan or allocation judgment;
(4) the educational opportunities for the child at the existing location and at the proposed new location;
(5) the presence or absence of extended family at the existing location and at the proposed new location;
(6) the anticipated impact of the relocation on the child;
(7) whether the court will be able to fashion a reasonable allocation of parental responsibilities between all parents if the relocation occurs;
(8) the wishes of the child after taking into consideration the child's age and maturity;
(9) whether the intended relocation is valid, in good faith, and to a location that is reasonable in light of the purpose;
(10) possible arrangements for the exercise of parental responsibilities appropriate to the parents' resources and circumstances and the developmental level of the child.
(11) minimization of the impairment to a parent-child relationship caused by a parent's relocation; and
(12) any other relevant factors bearing on the child's best interests.
(h) Unless the non-relocating parent demonstrates that a reallocation of parental responsibilities is necessary to prevent harm to the child, the court shall deny the non-relocating parent's request for a reallocation of parental responsibilities based on relocation if the non-relocating parent either:
(1) failed to object to the relocation within the time allowed; or
(2) has substantially failed or refused to exercise the parental responsibilities allocated to him or her under the parenting plan or allocation judgment.
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