I recently learned that The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that unmarried couples who have children are still required to comply with Section 609 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act and obtain Court approval to remove children from the State of Illinois.
With that being said, here's my situation. For the past 7 years, I have been a soldier with the U.S. Army. My ex (who I never married) and I broke up before I joined, and she has had custody of our daughter ever since. She got married, and in 2007 moved our daughter to Missouri. She told me that because we were never married that she didn't need permission to move our daughter from Illinois. My visitation has been negatively affected ever since.
My visitation states that I can see my daughter,"...subject to reasonable visitation anytime I am in Central Illinois from 9a.m. until 8p.m. everyday with fourteen days notice, the same day, and at other occasions which both parties agree." With my daughter living 5 hours away, I can't see her at the agreed times. Therefore, my visitation is diminished.
I was stationed in Germany or Texas, or on deployments to Iraq during this time. My military obligation obviously prevented me from seeing my daughter everyday, but I still managed to come back several times a year on leave to see my daughter. I also would call her and talk to her once or twice a week. Overseas phone calls are terribly expensive, but I made the calls, regardless. I have definitely been a presence in her life even through difficult circumstances.
Though it's been 2 years since my ex moved my daughter out of the Illinois illegally, I wondered if I can still have her held in contempt? The only reason I haven't pursue the issue sooner is due to conflicts due to the military. My home of residence is still Illinois, and I am getting out of the Army next month and I am moving back to Illinois.
I have a job lined up, which is great. I mainly want my visitation enforced. I wonder too, if a judge will enforce visitation because she moved illegally. Or could it warrant a change of custody? Hmmm.
My ex actually had me drive her state of residency to visit with my daughter. Why? She stated she just wasn't able to provide transportation for our child to come to Illinois because of her husband's work schedule. They have two vehicles, and I would think inconvenience on her part does not negate her responsibility. I am to have visitation in Illinois not Iowa. Sorry I didn't mention this, but she moved AGAIN to a different state. She now lives in Iowa with our child. Anyhow, I shouldn't legally have to cross State lines to implement visistation, especially when she lives outside of the agreement area.
Something that's amazing to me. She is trying to get me to redo our current order in her state! She says she wants the agreement done over there for " purposes of enforcebility". Sounds like a bunch of bull to me. It's already enforceable in Illinois. I think she wants to change things so she doesn't have to be responsible for transportation.
I also have concerns over where my money for support of our daughter is gone. My ex left our daughter (against my wishes) with her parents for 3 YEARS while she attended college over 4 hours away....nice right? I believe my ex was syphoning (sp?) money out of our daughter's account (designated by the court for my child support to be direct deposited into by an allotment from my Army paycheck), and into her own personal account at a bank where she was attending college. I think I might be able to prove it. What will happen if I can? Will she be held responsible. Can a reduction of child support be granted due to that fact?
Is there any hope for me here? I'm just frustrated that I have had to get screwed in my visitation. I am finally able to go to court. You know, last time I came up to Illinois to visit on leave, I got to see my daughter a total of a day. She wanted to take our daughter back to Iowa when my visitation is legally supposed to start (9a.m.) due to a cheerleading practice that was to occur at 5:30p.m. I have no problem with my daughter going to extracurricular activities. It's good for her, however due to my ex's illegal move out of state. It just makes it so much harder for me to spend time with my little girl. If she hadn't moved her and lived where she did before, I could take my daughter to her practice, you know? I just feel completely robbed of my time with her. Any helpful information about Illinois law, etc, would be great:)