What Steps Do I Need to Take to Move with My Child After Divorce?
In 2016, significant changes were made to the way Illinois law handles a parent’s ability to move with a child. Before this update, a custodial parent, meaning a parent with the majority of the parenting time, could move anywhere in the state of Illinois without the other parent’s approval or permission from the court. However, out-of-state moves required court approval even if the move was only 20 or 30 miles away. Now, parents must seek permission from the other parent and/or the court for all moves that are a significant distance away. If you are a parent who wishes to move with your child and you currently share custody with your child’s other parent, there are several requirements you should be aware of.
If a parent moves only a short distance away from his or her current residence, this is not considered a relocation. Although the parent will still need to provide written notice to the other parent including the moving date and new address, he or she will not need court approval to move. However, if a move fits the criteria for a “relocation” as set forth in Illinois law, then the parent will need to take additional steps to gain court approval. A relocation is defined as a move that involves:
- A parent living in Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, Kane County, Will County, or McHenry County who wishes to move to a new residence in Illinois that is more than 25 miles away
- A parent living in another Illinois county who wishes to move to a new residence in the state of Illinois that is more than 50 miles away
- A parent living in Illinois who wishes to move out of state and at least 25 miles away
Obtaining Court Approval for a Relocation
You will need to obtain court approval to move if:
- You have the majority of parenting time or you are in a shared parenting situation in which each parent has the child for more than 146 nights a year AND
- The move fits the definition of a “relocation,” according to Illinois law
If the other parent agrees to the relocation and the court does not see any way in which the relocation would harm the child, the court will typically approve the move. However, if the other parent objects to the move, the court will need to evaluate several factors to determine whether or not to grant the relocation. These factors include the reasons for the relocation, the other parent’s reasons for objecting to the relocation, the educational opportunities available to the child at each location, the child’s wishes, and more.
Contact an Illinois Parent Relocation Lawyer
Parents in a co-parenting relationship who have the majority or an equal amount of parenting time must seek court approval for certain moves. Whether you are the parent who wishes to relocate or you object to your child’s other parent moving away with your child, Shaw Sanders, P.C. is here to help. Schedule a free consultation with a skilled St. Charles family law attorney to discuss your concerns by calling us at 630-584-5550 today.