After getting a divorce, you may be looking for a fresh start, or you may be considering a new direction in your life. This may include plans to relocate to a new home in a different community. While this can be a beneficial change that may allow you to cut down on expenses, pursue new career opportunities, or live closer to members of your family, you will want to be aware of any legal issues that may affect your ability to move. If you share custody of your children with your ex-spouse, you will need to follow certain steps during the parental relocation process. By working with an attorney who is experienced in post-decree matters, you can make sure you meet all of your legal requirements while addressing any disputes with your ex-spouse or other issues that may arise.
The Parental Relocation Process
When you are making plans to move, you will want to determine whether this change will need to be addressed through the legal system. Illinois law details when a move is considered a parental relocation. If you live in DuPage, Kane, Cook, Lake Will, or McHenry County, and you are planning to move at least 25 miles away from your current home to a new home either inside or outside of Illinois, you may need to receive permission from the court.
If your planned move meets the requirements to be considered a parental relocation, and you have primary physical custody of your children or share equal parenting time with your ex-spouse, you must first notify your ex of your relocation plans. Most of the time, a written notice must be provided to your ex-spouse at least 60 days before the date that you plan to move, and it must state the date of the relocation, the address of the new residence, and, if the relocation will be temporary, the amount of time that it will last. If it would not be possible or practical to provide 60 days’ notice, you should provide notice at the earliest possible date. You must also file a copy of this notice with your local circuit court.
If your ex-spouse has no objections to your relocation, they can sign the notice, and the court will usually allow you to relocate as requested. However, if your relocation will require you to make modifications to your parenting plan, such as by adjusting the parenting time schedule or updating the methods you and your ex use to make child-related decisions, the court will need to review these changes to ensure that they will protect your children’s best interests.
If your ex objects to your proposed relocation, a hearing will be held in family court to determine whether to grant your request and decide how your parenting plan may be modified. In these cases, a judge will base the decisions on what is in your children’s best interests, and they may consider factors such as your stated reasons for relocating, your ex’s reasons for objecting, your children’s wishes, the relationships between your children and both parents, whether either you or your ex have failed to exercise parenting time or parental responsibilities as defined in your parenting plan, your children’s ability to receive a good education at either location, whether extended family members live close to either location, and whether reasonable transportation arrangements can be made to make sure your children will be able to have regular parenting time with both parents. Most of the time, a judge will look to minimize any issues that may negatively affect parent-child relationships.
Contact Our Hillside Parental Relocation Attorney
If you are considering a move after getting divorced, Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C. can advise you of your rights and options. We can make sure you meet all legal requirements while advocating for your child’s best interests. Contact our Oak Park parenting plan modification lawyer at 708-449-7404 to set up a free consultation today.