If you are unmarried or divorced, and you have children, you may share parental responsibilities and parenting time with your child’s other parent. In situations like this, parents are subject to certain rules and procedures when they move. The laws in Illinois regarding parental relocation changed significantly in 2016. Now, if a parent wants to move, and the move meets certain criteria, they may need to get court approval. Whether you are unmarried, divorced, or plan to end your marriage soon, it is important to be aware of parental relocation laws.
Defining “Relocation” According to Illinois Law
Before the changes to Illinois family law, the parent who was the “primary residential parent” could move anywhere in the state without getting permission from the other parent or the court. However, if they wished to move outside of Illinois – even if the move was only a few miles away – they needed to take certain legal steps.
Illinois law has since been updated to be more consistent. Moving a short distance away does not require approval. However, when a move is significant, this is called a “relocation.” A relocation occurs when a parent with the majority of parenting time or an equal amount of parenting time:
Moves from DuPage County, Cook County, Lake County, Will County, McHenry County, or Kane County to a residence over 25 miles away
Moves from another Illinois county to a residence that is more than 50 miles away
Moves to a residence that is more than 25 miles away and outside of Illinois
Getting Approval from the Other Parent and the Court
If a move counts as a “relocation,” the relocating parent will need to notify the other parent about the move at least 60 days in advance. The parent must also file a copy of the notice with the court. If both parents agree to the move, the parents can modify their parenting plan and submit it to the court for approval. If the non-moving parent objects to the move, the situation is more complicated. The parent who wishes to relocate will need to petition the court to get approval. The court will consider the reason for the proposed move, each parent’s relationship with the child, and many other factors. If the court finds that the relocation is in the child’s best interests, the court will approve the relocation.
Parents with the minority of the parenting time do not need permission to relocate. However, the parents may still need to modify their parenting plan to accommodate the new situation.
Contact a Wheaton Parental Relocation Lawyer
If you are a parent who wishes to relocate, or if you are objecting to your child’s other parent’s plans to relocate, contact The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. A DuPage County child custody attorney from our firm can provide the legal support you need. Call 630-462-9500 for a confidential consultation.