Relocation is one of the more complex areas of Family Law.  Relocation issues arise when one parent wants to move the children a significant distance, whether in the state of Illinois or to another state.  When the children’s parents are separated, relocation requires specific authorization from the court before the children can be moved.

This past February, Rep. Natalie A. Manley introduced house bill 2186, which proposes to change the definition of relocation as it relates to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). [1]While this might seem trivial, if passed, it will seriously alter when court approval is needed to move children.

Currently, the IMDMA defines relocation differently depending on the county where the child primarily resides.  If you live in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will County, relocation is considered to mean any move that is more than 25 miles from the child’s current primary residence, whether it is in Illinois or another state.  If you reside in any other county, including Madison, St. Clair, and Monroe County, relocation is considered to mean any move that is more than 50 miles from the child’s current primary residence, if in Illinois, or more than 25 miles from the child’s residence, if moving outside Illinois.

The recent proposal would eliminate the distinction between counties as well as the distinction between moving within the state or out of state.  Under the new statute, any move less than 50 miles away from the child’s current primary residence would no longer be considered a relocation for the purposes of the IMDMA.  This means the parent awarded the majority of the parenting time with the children would be free to move up to 50 miles, in or out of state, without seeking approval from the court.

Right now, house bill 2186 is just a proposal and still has a long way before it becomes law. Currently, the bill is going through changes and waiting to be approved by the Family Law Subcommittee of the Illinois House of Representatives before it can be voted on by the Illinois Senate and signed into law by Governor Pritzker.

For more updates on the evolving field of Illinois family law or other matters contact Sherer Law Offices at (618) 692-6656.

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