Monday, December 21, 2009

Relocation - Comparing Indiana, Florida and Illinois

And while I have been critical of Indiana's relocation statute for what I consider bad policy, I think we may be a bit better off than Illinois.

(750 ILCS 5/609) (from Ch. 40, par. 609)
Sec. 609. Leave to Remove Children.)
(a) The court may grant leave, before or after judgment, to any party having custody of any minor child or children to remove such child or children from Illinois whenever such approval is in the best interests of such child or children. The burden of proving that such removal is in the best interests of such child or children is on the party seeking the removal. When such removal is permitted, the court may require the party removing such child or children from Illinois to give reasonable security guaranteeing the return of such children.
(b) Before a minor child is temporarily removed from Illinois, the parent responsible for the removal shall inform the other parent, or the other parent's attorney, of the address and telephone number where the child may be reached during the period of temporary removal, and the date on which the child shall return to Illinois.
The State of Illinois retains jurisdiction when the minor child is absent from the State pursuant to this subsection.
(c) The court may not use the availability of electronic communication as a factor in support of a removal of a child by the custodial parent from Illinois.
(Source: P.A. 96‑331, eff. 1‑1‑10.)

Indiana's statute involves burden shifting:
IC 31-17-2.2-5
Motion to prevent relocation; burden of proof
Sec. 5. (a) Not later than sixty (60) days after receipt of the notice from the relocating individual under IC 31-14-13-10 or this chapter, a nonrelocating parent may file a motion seeking a temporary or permanent order to prevent the relocation of a child.
(b) On the request of either party, the court shall hold a full evidentiary hearing to grant or deny a relocation motion under subsection (a).
(c) The relocating individual has the burden of proof that the proposed relocation is made in good faith and for a legitimate reason.
(d) If the relocating individual meets the burden of proof under subsection (c), the burden shifts to the nonrelocating parent to show that the proposed relocation is not in the best interest of the child.
(e) If the nonrelocating parent fails to file a motion under subsection (a), the relocating individual who has custody of the child may relocate to the new residence.

I would also point out that Illinois does by statute what Indiana accomplishes in our Parenting Time Guidelines.

5. Emergency Notification. For emergency notification purposes, whenever a child travels out of the area with either parent, one of the following shall be provided to the other parent: An itinerary of travel dates, destinations, and places where the child or the traveling parent can be reached, or the name and telephone number of an available third person who knows where the child or parent may be located.

And there is this story from Florida: Parental Relocation: What a Florida Parent Hoping to Relocate Their Children Needs to Know in Advance.

Yes, the Indiana relocation statue does look a bit better when compared to elsewhere. That does not mean it is still the best we could have.

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