For 25 years, Illinois has used the case of In re Marriage of Eckert 119 Ill.2d 316 (1988) as the benchmark in child removal cases:
I never found these so-called "Eckert factors" particularly helpful. The factors are too abstract and don't give enough guidance to litigants or courts. Stahl's article appealed to me because he addresses specific factors to consider, based upon clinical research. Those factors include:
- The age of the child.
- The Distance of the move.
- The child's psychological functioning, including strengths and vulnerabilities.
- The degree of nonresidential parent involvement
- The strengths, resources and vulnerabilities of the moving parent
- Parenting effectiveness of both parents
- The history, nature and degree of parental conflict
- The history of any domestic violence
- Social capital in each location (family members and connections)
- Each parent's ability to be a responsible gatekeeper and support the child's relationship with the other parent
- The recency of the Separation and Divorce