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Illinois Child Relocation Considerations

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Joliet family law attorneysGoing through a divorce in Illinois means you cannot simply pick up and leave with your child. Likewise, your spouse cannot move your child without first obtaining your approval or approval from the court. What does approval through the court look like, and how can you either fight a move or pursue one to improve the life of you and your child? The following explains more about the child relocation laws in Illinois.

Not All Moves Require Pre-Approval

If the parent wishing to relocate wants to relocate closer to the other parent, they do not need to gain approval. Further, the parent may also relocate the child within certain parameters of their current residence. These parameters include:

  • Up to 25 miles from the child's current place of residence if they live in Kane, Cook, Lake, McHenry, or DuPage County;
  • Up to 50 miles if the child does not currently reside in one of the previously mentioned counties; or
  • Up to 25 miles out of state, but no further than 25 miles from the child's current place of residence.

All other moves require prior approval from either the court or the non-moving parent.

Understanding Why Restrictions Exist

Divorce hearings used to favor the mother and assumed she was the more “needed” parent in a child's life. However, years of research have shown that both parents are important to a child's emotional well-being. Illinois state law seeks to protect the bond with each parent by ensuring each has both parenting time rights and allocation of parental responsibilities. Of course, there are exceptions, such as when a parent has been abusive or deemed unfit, but such situations are rare and must be proven.

When a Parent Wants to Relocate

There are many reasons why a parent may wish to move with the child, but making such a move (otherwise known as child relocation) can ultimately sever the child's relationship with the other parent. Further, the move may have other adverse effects on the child, such as removing them from friends or extended family members. As such, parents who wish to move with their child are advised to consider their options and decisions carefully.

If upon careful consideration, the parent who wants to move has decided that the child could potentially have better support, improved education, or other valuable benefits by relocating, the moving parent may then submit written notice to the other parent. If the non-moving parent agrees with the move, they can sign the notice. The moving parent would file the notice with the court. If the non-moving parent does not approve, they will not sign the notice. The moving parent could then attempt to have their move approved by filing a petition with the court. Considerations that the courts may use could include:

  • Likelihood that the move would enrich or improve the child's life;
  • Motives of the parent that wishes to move;
  • Motives of the non-moving parent;
  • If realistic or reasonable visitation could occur;
  • Any limitations that either parent may experience in seeking visitation;
  • If the moving parent has remarried someone from another state; and
  • If the move is to obtain additional support from family or to obtain better employment.

Our Joliet Family Law Attorneys Can Assist with Your Child Relocation Issue

If you wish to move, or if you would like to stop a potential move of your child, it is important that you seek legal assistance. The Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C. can help. Knowledgeable and experienced, our Joliet family law attorneys will work hard to achieve the most favorable outcome possible in your case. Schedule your consultation by calling 815-666-1285 today.


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