Mother petitioned court for removal. She wanted to move with the minor child to New Jersey from Illinois. Court said ‘no’.

The court considered a number of factors. No family members lived in or near New Jersey.  Many extended family members live in or near Elgin.  The court properly put the consideration of the child’s best interests first. The close extended family stood out as the most convincing consideration.

The court needed to determine what the best interest of the child was.  It said that it is not a simple bright-line test.  It must be made on a case-by-case basis.  That depends on the circumstances of each case.

There was a likely enhancement to the Mother’s general quality of life as a result of relocating to New Jersey.  She asserts that her husband will be able to take advantage of his job opportunity as COO.  But,  only if he relocates from Elgin to the New York City area. He will lose his job if he does not move.

The husband’s employer testified. He said husband had been doing his job well from Elgin. He also denied that husband would lose his job if he did not move.

Mother asserted that the family would make more income with the husband’s new job.   They could afford a nicer home.  A more affluent neighborhood.  The ability to participate in extracurricular activities and other activities. Vacations. A higher standard of living.

The Father testified to the overall harm to the child.  He said that this was not a good age for the boy to be moving from his close family and friends. The boy was four and a half years old. Father said that the boy does have friends. He also knows all of his family members.

In re Parentage of P.D., 2017 IL App (2d) 170355, October 13, 2017.

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