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Child Relocation Attorneys Assist Parents Moving with Children

When parents decide to end their marriage, their final divorce decree or judgment will include a parenting plan that specifies how parental responsibility will be allocated and defines parenting time schedules. When the divorce decree is entered and finalized, it becomes the law of the case, and it is meant to remain in place for the foreseeable future. It is likely, however, that parents’ and children’s circumstances will change at some point, requiring a modification of the parenting plan. Issues relating to a child’s needs are always modifiable upon a showing that the modification is essential to a child’s best interests.

One common reason that parents request to modify their parenting plan is that they would like to move to a new home and new community with their child. Since changes to a child’s residence can result in major changes to the amount of time spent with a parent, the requests to move a child to a new community can result in highly contentious disagreements. The law in Illinois will allow a parent to remove a child to a new community if the move will promote the child’s best interests. At Botti Marinaccio, LTD., our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience, and we can put this experience to work for you as we advocate for your interests in child relocation disputes.

Child Relocation Under Illinois Law

Under Illinois law, a parent may seek to relocate with a child if they have been allocated a majority of parenting time or share equal parenting time. Relocation under Illinois law is defined as:

  • A move of more than 25 miles from a residence in DuPage, Cook, Kane, Will, Lake, or McHenry County to a new residence within the state of Illinois.
  • A move of more than 50 miles from a residence in an Illinois county other than DuPage, Cook, Kane, Will, Lake, or McHenry County to a new residence within the state of Illinois.
  • A move of more than 25 miles from a residence in Illinois to a new residence outside the state of Illinois.

At least 60 days before a parent decides to relocate, that parent must provide their child’s other parent with written notice of their intent to move and where and when the move is anticipated. The parent must also file a copy of this notice with the circuit court where their divorce has occurred or where the divorce is pending. This notice shall include the date they intend to move, the address of the new residence, and, if the move is not permanent, the length of time they will be living at the new residence.

The Child Relocation Process

If the other parent agrees to the relocation, and the court believes the move is in the child’s best interests, the move will be allowed, and the parenting plan will be modified to reflect the relocation. Should the other parent object to the move, the parent who wishes to relocate must file a petition asking the court to grant approval for the relocation and address why the relocation is in their child’s best interests.

As with other decisions made during a divorce, the court will look to protect children’s best interests when deciding whether to grant a relocation request. Illinois law provides several factors that a court should consider when determining whether a relocation is in a child’s best interests. These factors include:

  • The reasons a parent plans to relocate.
  • The reasons the other parent objects to the relocation.
  • The child’s wishes regarding the relocation.
  • Each parent’s current and past relationship with the child, including whether a parent has not exercised the parental responsibilities and parenting time that have been allocated to them in a parenting plan.
  • How the relocation will impact the child, including their educational opportunities and their relationship with their parents and extended family.

Contact The Experienced Divorce Lawyers At Botti Marinaccio, LTD.

If you are considering a move to a new home with your children, or if you need to prevent your children from being relocated away from you, the attorneys of Botti Marinaccio, LTD. can fight to protect your parental rights and help you demonstrate what is in your children’s best interests. The law firm of Botti Marinaccio, LTD. solves problems through successful negotiations or, if necessary, at trial through a judge’s decision. To set up a consultation, contact the main office by calling 630-934-2192 or filling out the online contact form.