Moving with a Child After an Illinois Divorce
Illinois law went through a change in 2016 in regards to parents relocating with their child after going through a divorce. Prior to the law change, the parent with physical custody of the child was allowed to move within the state whenever they wished.
According to the new law, a parent must get permission from the court if their relocation is over 25 miles from the current address. In some cases, the 25 miles could take the parent and child over Illinois state limits.
What Is the Process to Petition for Relocation?
The Illinois court system likes to make sure that a child is able to see both parents after a divorce takes place. If one parent moves out of state, the other may not get as much of a chance to bond with their child and a parenting plan can become difficult to maintain.
A lot of relocation cases can be handled civilly with both parents agreeing to the relocation and signing the necessary paperwork to avoid court. However, if the non-custodial parent feels like their time with their children are in jeopardy, they can refuse to sign the paperwork. This would lead the primary parent to file a petition for relocation to family court.
The parent looking to relocate would need to bring their written petition to the court a minimum of 60 days before the planned relocation. The petition must include:
- The intended date of the relocation
- The intended new address which the child will be living
- The intended amount of time the relocation will be if it is not permanent
Not only will the document be delivered for the circuit clerk, but the other parent must also receive the document so they are aware that a petition for relocation has been made.
Once the court receives proper documentation, they will determine what should be done based on the best interest of the child. The family court judge will determine whether or not the move is being made for a good reason or if it is being done maliciously to hurt the other parent. Factors that will determine if the relocation is granted include:
- The reason for the move
- The reason one parent is objecting to the move
- Whether or not the custodial parent has been performing their duties to their child according to the parental plan
- Is there a good opportunity for the child's academic future in the new location
- How much time will the child lose with their non-custodial parent
- Will the court be able to establish a new allocation of parental responsibilities fairly
- The wishes of the child depending on their age
- Any other factors that could impact the best interests of the child
Contact a St. Charles, IL Divorce Attorney
There are some cases in which relocation is the best choice for the child because they should be kept away from their non-custodial parent. However, if the non-custodial parent is fit to have time with their child, they should be allowed to do so. Lawyers from Shaw Family Law, P.C. are available to help either parent get through a difficult decision about relocation. To schedule a free consultation with a skilled Kane County parental relocation lawyer, call 630-584-5550.