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FamilyAttorney, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1503
Experience:  Owner, attorney in private practice, appellate attorney, GAL & former trial lawyer, licensed for 37 years
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I have joint legal custody of two children, i moved out of

Customer Question

i have joint legal custody of two children, i moved out of state a year ago my income changed and i was behind on child support which im currently catching up on, my ex wife recently sold the house and moved out of state i believe, i barely have any contact with my children and when i ask if id be able to have them visit me im told she doesnt want them visiting with , what should i do in this situation?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer. I’m a licensed attorney with 36 years’ experience in family law appeals and landlord-tenant law. I look forward to helping you today.

At the end of this session, I will ask you to please rate me as that’s the only way I get credit for helping you. It is NO EXTRA CHARGE to you but it’s important to me! Thanks!

Please note:This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an attorney on this site. This is for educational purposes only and you are advised to seek your own legal counsel.

Also – I will be typing my answer for you so I’ll be back asap.

I have a couple of questions that I would need answered for clarification purposes and so that I can help you, okay? I appreciate it.

Your state is listed as Iowa. Is that where you live now? Which is the state that did the order where child support was ordered? Which state are the kids in now? Thanks. This will help me with your question.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i live in PA the order was issued in IA and i believe she is residing in Illinois with the children
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

Wow, okay, that's all over the place. Thank you for that, though. That will help. Has she beein in Illinois for more than 6 months? That's usually the time needed to establish residency for court purposes although I'll double-check.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
im not sure my best guess is no she hasnt lived there for 6 months, i was never notified of the move so i dont have a date
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

It looks like Illinois is 90 days, so if she's been there that long, that should be sufficient.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
is it illegal for her to move the kids without notifying me or having court permission
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

You should absolutely get an attorney in Illinois. I say Ill. and not Iowa because the kids are in Ill. The Ill. court may use Illinois law and not Iowa law, but it can also defer to Iowa law if it decides that that's the state that has jurisdiction. However, the place to bring a lawsuit is in Ill.

I'm suggesting that you contact an Ill. lawyer. Why? Because you are entitled to see the children. You should have a visitation schedule or parenting plan, and probably Ill. will defer to its own law for that. Even if child support hasn't been paid, you have the right to see the children. What you can do is let me find a list of lawyers for you in Ill. and you can pick some from the guide I will send you -- easy to follow and short -- and let an attorney help you long distance. You will need to be in court on some occasions but maybe not all -- sometimes a judge lets people call in and hopefully it won't take long. I give names of lawyers to customers here free of charge; it's my way of helping you.

Re: her relocation, it depends what is in the order or judgment from Iowa. Do you know what is in that order/judgment about relocation?

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

It's difficult for me to guess what it says because many orders are silent on relocation, and others are very specific about it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
there was nothing specific written in the order, besides joint legal custody and her being the primary custodian and me having open unsupervised visitation
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

You'll have to check the judgment or order to see what it says about relocation. If she was supposed to give you notice, then yes, she violated it.

From what you're saying, there was nothing in the agreement about notice before relocating. You can raise that issue, but what the court will do depends on whether it uses Iowa law or Illinois law.

When you moved did you stay in touch with the kids? If not, how long a period did you go before trying to contact them?

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

Generally speaking, though, she should have gotten court permission unless she can claim you abandoned the children. This is not found in the agreement but in the law, which is usually this:

First look to the language in your existing divorce judgment or visitation agreement. Often those agreements specifically address this issue and may even restrict a move. If so, you will have to renegotiate the terms of the agrreement as courts are relunctant to allow a change from the original agreement.

If the custodial parent plans to move away from where the non-custodial parent lives, the non-custodial parent may petition the court to change the child custody arrangement based on the relocation. The non-custodial parent must convince the court that the moving plans of the custodial parent constitute a material change in circumstances, and that the move is not in the best interest of the child or children.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

I am happy to give you names of lawyers in Illinois in the area where she lives. It do this free of charge for my customers here. We cannot refer to any specific lawyers but I can give you a list and I have a short, easy guide as to how to pick a lawyer from the list.

I can't answer your question completely without knowing if you kept in touch with the kids or not, or even if you attempted to keep in touch with them. I'd need to know how long a period you did not keep in touch with them.

That being said, you STILL have the right to see your children if it wasn't a long period of time that you haven't seen them. You have joint custody and since that hasn't been changed, you still have the right to see your kids even if you weren't paying child support. She cannot keep the children from you.

Let me know if you need the names of lawyers in that area.

Does this answer your question? You should bring a case against her in Illinois and ask for visitation to be enforced.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

This is a tough situation and I'm sorry you're going through this. I want to help you so I'm pointing you in the right direction. I want you to be able to see your kids because I know it's horrible when you can't see your kids. I represent children in NY and have two kids of my own. I know as a parent how important your kids are and I'm sure you did everything that you could do. Now I'd like to help you.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 year ago.

I will give you names of lawyers in the Illinois area (need name of city where they live, or biggest city near it) if you'd like. Just let me know.

I am more than happy to answer additional questions based on this one if you want.

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