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How Do Illinois Family Courts Address Parental Relocation?

Posted on in Divorce

illinois divorce lawyerIt is not uncommon after a divorce for one parent or the other to make the decision to move from the area they were living in while the divorce was taking place. If the move will only be in the same municipality or close by, then it should not pose any issues regarding the parenting plan that the ex-spouses have. But how do Illinois courts address parental relocation when one parent wants to move further away, and how much say does the other parent have?

Moving Versus Parental Relocation

Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), there is a specific geographical radius a parent may move with their children without needing the court's permission prior to that move. However, if the planned move is outside the specific radius, then the parent must give proper notice to the other parent and the court, depending on the proposed relocation.

If the parent is moving from a residence in that is further than 25 miles from the child’s current residence in the following counties, they must seek permission:

  • Cook County

  • DuPage County

  • Kane County

  • Lake County

  • McHenry

  • Will County

If the parent is moving from a residence in a county other than one listed above that is further than 50 miles from the child’s current residence, they must seek permission.

If the parent is moving outside of Illinois that is further than 25 miles from the child’s current residence, they must seek permission.

If a parent wishes to move with the child within the above parameters, then he or she can do so without notifying the court first or getting permission from the child’s other parent.

Required Notice for Parental Relocation

If a parent in one of the situations described above plans to move with a child, he or she must first give the child’s other parent a written notice of the proposed relocation. The notice should provide the date of the proposed relocation, the address to which the parent intends to move, and how long the relocation will last if it is only a temporary move. This notice must also be filed with the court that issued the current custody agreement.

The parent must issue this notice at least 60 days before the proposed relocation unless it is impracticable or the court orders otherwise. If the parent who is not relocating does not object to the proposed relocation, then no further court action will occur, providing the other parent has signed the notice.

 Objections to Parental Relocation

If the parent who is not relocating objects to the proposed relocation, fails to sign the notice of relocation, or otherwise disagrees with the overall situation, then the parent who wants to move must file a motion with the court to get permission to relocate as proposed. The proposed move can constitute a substantial change of circumstances under Illinois law that justifies a change in custody and/or the existing parenting plan. Among the factors that a court can consider in making a decision about custody, parenting time, and the proposed relocation are the reason for the proposed relocation, the other parent’s reasons for objecting to the relocation, and other generally relevant factors related to the best interests of the child.

Contact a Cook County Family Lawyer for Legal Assistance

If you are seeking to relocate with your child, or you are a parent who is objecting to your ex’s proposed relocation, call Botti Marinaccio, LTD. at 630-575-8585 to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled DuPage County family law attorneys and find out what legal options you may have.




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