After a divorce or child custody case concludes in Illinois, some children will decide that they would rather live with the noncustodial parent. When a child expresses an interest in changing where he or she lives, it is important for the parents to handle the situation correctly. There are several things dos and don’ts for when a child expresses a desire to move in with his or her other parent.

Things to do when a child wants to change residences

When a child says he or she wants to move to his or her other parent’s home, the custodial parent should make sure to keep the lines of communication open. He or she should let the child know that it is OK to express him or herself and listen calmly. The parent should set ground rules and make sure that the child understands that it is not OK to be rude, however. The custodial parent should listen with empathy and try to get his or her ex involved if possible.

Things not to do when a child wants to change homes

There are several things that a person should not do when his or her child states a desire to move in with the other parent. For starters, a parent should not try to avoid the discussion. If a parent refuses to talk about what his or her child has expressed, the child might think that his or her parent does not care. An individual should not take anything personally or talk badly about his or her ex. He or she should not rush his or her judgment of the request and, instead, take time to think about it before making a decision.

Dealing with a child’s request to change homes can be emotionally difficult. Divorce is difficult for everyone involved, including the parents. If the parents agree that changing their child’s residence is in his or her best interests, they may agree to modify the child custody and visitation orders. An experienced divorce and family law attorney may advise his or her client about the legal options that may be available.

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