Sometimes when couples separate, one may move to a different state to be closer to family, secure employment or other reasons. However, this may raise a question of jurisdiction when trying to get a divorce or determine child custody arrangements if there are children involved.
In order to get a divorce in Illinois, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act (IMDMA) requires a party to be a resident of the state for 90 days prior to filing in initial Petition for Dissolution or prior to the judicial finding of residency.
If there are children involved, the jurisdiction for the child custody determination is governed by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). Generally speaking, Illinois may have jurisdiction in a child custody matter if:
1. The child resided in the state within the six months of commencing a child custody action and one of the parents resides in the state.
2. The child has significant ties to the state of Illinois such as relationships with family, friends, teachers, and other support networks.
3. No other state claims jurisdiction.
Interstate child custody disputes can be very complicated depending on the unique circumstances of your case. The best interests of the children are at the center of deciding any child custody matter. It is important to consult an experienced family law attorney to obtain information regarding your specific situation when a parental relocation is involved.
If you have questions regarding an Illinois divorce, child custody or support matter, contact the Law Offices of Schlesinger & Strauss LLC for help.