Father filed a petition to vacate portions of the Illinois divorce decree. The trial court vacated the child custody and child support provisions of a judgment of dissolution of marriage.   The court ordered that the issue of child custody would be decided in Illinois.   Mother and child now lived in the State of Texas.  Mother appealed.

The Appellate Court noted that the record clearly showed that the child was removed from Illinois to Texas without the trial court’s knowledge or consent by the mother.   It had been done on a temporary basis only by agreement of the parties.  

The trial court’s primary objective was to determine which court can most capably act in the best interests of the child.   The Appellate Court agreed that Illinois should maintain jurisdiction of the case.

A number of witnesses are located in Texas. However, father is present in Illinois and he has had visitation with the child in this State. Also, father testified that he has family and friends in Illinois who will be called as witnesses.

In addition, the child’s therapist is located in Illinois. We note that by agreement of the parties, the child’s therapist is conducting an evaluation of the parties and the child.

Based upon all these circumstances, we conclude that the child has retained a significant connection with the State of Illinois.

 IRMO Breyley, 247 Ill.App.3d 486

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