A removal action occurs when a custodial parent, who is separated or divorced from the other parent, tries to move out of state with the children. The non-custodial parent can agree to the removal, in which case the parties would enter an agreed order with the court. If the noncustodial parent does not agree to the removal it will be up to the court to decide whether the removal is proper.
The court will consider the following factors known as the Eckert Factors to determine whether the custodial parent can move a child out of state over the other parent’s objection:
- The likelihood that the move will enhance the general quality of life for both the custodial parent and the children;
- The motives of the custodial parent in seeking to move to determine whether the removal is merely a ruse intended to defeat or frustrate visitation;
- The motives of the non-custodial parent in resisting the removal;
- That it is in the best interest of the child to have a healthy and close relationship with both parents and therefore the visitation rights of the non-custodial parent should be carefully considered; and
- Whether a realistic and reasonable visitation schedule can be reached if the move is allowed.
It is important to note that the court is free to consider other factors as well, but at the end of the day, the court will do what is in the best interests of the child.
If you are a parent involved in a removal action, your best chance at success will be to hire an experienced attorney to help you with your case. If you are in need of legal representation in a removal action, contact Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC at 312- 605-4041 to schedule an initial consultation.