Husband and wife were awarded joint custody of the children. Primary physical custody going to husband. While school was in session, the children spent 6 out of every 14 nights with wife. When school was not in session, the children spent alternate weeks with each parent.

Later, husband filed a notice of intent to relocate with the children to Virginia Beach, Virginia. They would all live with husband’s parents. Wife objected to the relocation.

The trial court found that both husband and wife are loving parents. They are both intimately involved in the children’s daily lives. Wife’s opposition to the relocation comes from a good-faith fear. That relocation will diminish her relationship with her children. Husband’s desire to relocate comes from a good-faith desire. To give the children more and better educational, extracurricular, and cultural opportunities. And to give them a better quality of life. The children in fact will enjoy greater educational, extracurricular, and cultural opportunities if they relocate to Virginia. The children will benefit from living with their paternal grandparents in Virginia. A reasonable allocation of parental responsibilities can be fashioned. To ensure that wife continues to spend significant time and enjoy a full relationship with the children.

The trial court concluded that “the quality of life to

[the children] will be increased by the allowing of relocation. And the Court finds that the granting of the removal petition is in the best interest of the children.” The court stated that “a proper allocation of parenting time needs to be established”. Upon relocation, the parenting of the parties be modified”. The children would live with husband in Virginia during the school year. And with wife in Illinois over the summer and during alternating holiday breaks. Wife appealed.
The Appellate Court agreed with the Trial court. The Trial Court’s numerous findings and application of the 11 statutory factors were supported by evidence in the record. The court’s conclusion that relocation would be in the children’s best interest is a reasonable conclusion.

In re Marriage of Fatkin, 2019 IL 123602 (January 26, 2019).

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