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Can I Stop My Child’s Other Parent From Moving Away with My Child?

Posted on in Divorce

Oak Brook divorce lawyer parental relocation

Dividing the time you and your ex-spouse spend with your child can prove difficult after your divorce. So, the thought of spending even less time with your child can be gut-wrenching. If your child’s other parent wishes to move a significant distance away, you may worry about how this will affect your parenting time arrangement. You may wonder if there is anything you can do to ensure that you will still get adequate time with your son or daughter or if you can prevent the relocation entirely. An experienced attorney can explain the laws regarding parental relocation and how it applies to your situation. 

Defining “Relocation” With Regard to Illinois Law

One of the updates to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) that went into effect in 2016 specifically addressed the rules regarding parental relocations. Special rules apply when a parent with the majority of the parenting time or equal parenting time relocates to a location that is:

  • More than 25 miles from a current residence that is in DuPage, Cook, Kane, McHenry, Lake, or Will Counties

  • More than 50 miles from a current primary residence that is in any other Illinois county

  • More than 25 miles from the current residence to a residence outside of Illinois

If these rules apply, the parent who intends to move must give the other parent 60 days’ notice and file a copy of the notice with the court. The parent must include the intended moving date, the new address, and how long he or she plans to live in the new residence.

Illinois Courts Must Approve Significant Parental Relocations if the Other Parent Objects

If the relocation meets the criteria listed above, the non-relocating parent has the option to agree or disagree with the relocation. If the parents agree, they modify the parenting plan accordingly and submit it to the court for approval. If the non-relocating parent disagrees, the relocating parent must file a “Petition To Relocate With Minor Children” with the court and get permission to relocate. The parents attend a hearing and have an opportunity to present their arguments, often through their respective attorneys, to the court. The court makes relocation decisions based on the child’s best interests and will consider factors such as:

  • The reason for the move

  • The reason the non-relocating parent objects to the move

  • The child’s wishes

  • The child’s relationship with each parent

  • Whether the relocation could negatively impact a parent-child relationship

  • The educational opportunities available to the child

Contact a Cook County Divorce Lawyer

If your child’s other parent wishes to relocate and you are worried about it negatively affecting your parenting time, you may be able to negotiate a new parenting time arrangement or dispute the relocation through the court. A seasoned Burr Ridge child custody attorney from the skilled law firm of Botti Marinaccio, LTD. can help you with these important legal issues. Call our office today at 630-575-8585 to schedule a confidential consultation.



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Botti Marinaccio, LTD.


2015 Spring Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523

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