Many parents relocate their families over the summer – often from the city to the suburbs – as to not disrupt their children’s school year. But divorced parents may not realize their parenting agreement has specific provisions about where and when they move.

Legal and physical custody provisions

Divorce agreements in Illinois often address both legal and physical custody. Legal custody deals with the rights parents have to make major life decisions such as schooling or religious upbringing. Physical custody determines where the children should live full-time and sets parenting time for the non-custodial parent. Regardless of the specifics of your particular agreement, that agreement is binding.

Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act mandates that if the parent with whom the children live wishes to relocate, he or she must give the other parent at least 60 days written notice if the move is more than 25 miles from their current residence. If the other parent is amenable, a new agreement can be created and filed with the court.

If the other parent does not support the move, the parent who wants to move must seek permission from the court by filing a petition. The judge will consider many factors, including the impact of the move on the children, the history of the parents’ relationship with the children, as well as educational opportunities and the presence or absence of extended family at both the current and new locations.

Parents should also be aware that if they share joint decision making on education a move out of a school district will require an agreement with the other parent.  If no agreement is reached, then the parents must attend mediation and proceed in court if they want to pursue a change in the schools.

Unfortunately, for divorced parents moving may not be just about finding a new home and relocating. Depending on your agreement, there may be another layer to consider to stay in accordance with the law.

Kogut & Wilson can provide guidance and support on all types of custody matters. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation with one of our attorneys to help you take the right steps when you are planning a move.

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