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Parental Relocation Guidelines to Change in 2016

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relocation, new laws, Illinois child custody lawyerWhen you are subject to a child custody order, it can be difficult to make significant changes to your life without affecting your relationship with your child. This is especially true in when it comes to deciding where you want to live and pursuing out of town opportunities. The decisions of your child's other parent can also have a dramatic impact on your parent-child relationship as well, particularly if he or she attempts to move out of state with your son or daughter. Beginning in 2016, however, the law in Illinois regarding parental relocation is becoming a bit more restrictive, requiring more moves to be approved in advance by a family court.

Current Regulations

Under the existing law, a primary custodial parent looking to move with his or child is free to move anywhere in the state. While such a move may have indirect effect on a visitation arrangement, there is nothing stopping a parent from making it. This means that a parent could move with a child from northern Chicago to East St. Louis—a 300-plus mile move—and there would be little the non-custodial parent could do about it.

On the other hand, any move out of state by the custodial parent must be approved by the other parent. If the other parent refuses, the matter could be presented to the court, which, based on the best interest of the child, could allow the move to proceed despite the objection. By law, approval would be required for a ten-mile move from Calumet City, Illinois, to Gary, Indiana.

Coming Changes

Beginning in January, a new law in Illinois will require the permission of the other parent for any move deemed to be a “parental relocation.” The statute defines a parental relocation as any move with a child:

  • From a residence within Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will Counties to a new residence within Illinois more than 25 miles away;
  • From a residence outside of the six above-listed counties to new residence within Illinois more than 50 miles away; or
  • From a residence anywhere in the state to a new residence outside of Illinois and more than 25 miles away.

The goal of the new law is to limit a primary custodial parent from creating undue challenges to the other parent's continued relationship with the child. It is not intended to prevent a parent and child from moving, necessarily, but by requiring consent or court approval for a parental relocation, the child's best interests may be better protected in the process.

If you are considering a move and are unsure about how the new law may affect your decision, contact an experienced Will County family law attorney. At the Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C., we will work with you in understanding your options and can help you take the necessary steps toward a better future. Call today to schedule a consultation in one of our two convenient office locations.


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