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Do I Need Permission From My Child’s Other Parent to Relocate?After getting divorced, many individuals will choose to have a fresh start, and for some, this means moving to a new place in a new location. For those going through the major life changes that inevitably come with divorce, this fresh start can be a good way to move forward towards a future that is focused on their happiness. However, for those with children, it may not be that easy. Divorcing couples with children will forever be connected by their shared kids. With parenting time agreements and child support payments, it may feel as if this new beginning may never start. Making the decision to move with your children may be restricted depending on the circumstances, and it is important to avoid violating this restriction as it can lead to serious legal consequences.

What is Considered Relocation?

Not every change of residence is considered relocation. For instance, the state cannot restrict you if you would simply like to move down the street to start fresh in a new house. However, anyone looking to relocate with their children will need permission from their child’s other parent or from the court. So, what is considered relocation by Illinois law?

  • If the child’s current primary residence is in DuPage, Cook, Lake, Kane, McHenry, or Will County and you move them to a location within Illinois that is more than 25 miles from their current residence
  • If the child’s current primary residence is not in one of the abovementioned counties and you move them to a location in Illinois that is more than 50 miles from their current residence
  • If you move the child outside of the state of Illinois and their new residence is over 25 miles away from their current residence

How Do I Get Permission?

If the parent who is the primary caretaker of the child would like to relocate with their child, they will need to provide their child’s other parent with written notification of their intent to move. This must be done 60 days before the parent and child intend to relocate, and it must inform the other parent of their intended move date, their new residence’s location, and the length of time that the relocation will last if it is not intended to be indefinite. The non-relocating parent is able to sign the relocation notice, granting the moving parties permission to do so, if they are comfortable with the relocation taking place. If this is the case, court permission is not required. However, many parents may not be comfortable with their child being so far away from them. If the non-moving parent refuses to sign the notice, the relocating parent may file their request with the court. The court may also deny the request; however, they will be looking at the request from a much different perspective. With no emotional investment to the parents or child, the court can act as the necessary third-party to determine whether or not this move is really in the best interests of the child. In many cases, impartial judgment may be necessary as emotions can often cloud a parent’s judgment on both ends.

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An Overview of Child Relocation Requests in IllinoisRelocating your family to a new environment can play a role in your divorce proceeding or come up after the ink has dried on your divorce papers.

Although you believe moving your child 500 miles away from where your divorce occurred will be good for them, the court and your child’s other parent may not agree.

In Illinois, the parent with primary parenting time does not need court approval to move with their children if the other parent does not object or the move is within 25 miles of their current residence in Will, Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake or McHenry counties. For other counties, the limit is 50 miles. Any move outside of those set mile ranges must be filed by written notice and approved by the court.

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Dealing With Your Ex-Spouse’s Relocation After Your Illinois DivorceFinalizing your divorce is often a weight off of your shoulders. After months and maybe even years of arguing back and forth, negotiating and finally settling on certain terms, you can take a deep breath, gather yourself and move on with your life. With the finalization of your divorce comes the finalization of the parenting arrangements for your child, and though things may seem like they have been decided, there will always be the possibility of change.

One major change that you may have to deal with after a divorce is whether your ex-spouse moves or not. Your spouse does not necessarily have to inform you of the move but is required by law to inform you if he or she intends to move with your child. When this happens, it is referred to as relocation, and you can either consent to the relocation or fight it.

Before You Go to Court

If your spouse intends to relocate with your child more than 25 miles away from his or her current home, Illinois law requires that he or she give you written notice of the intended relocation at least 60 days prior to the date of the move. If you do not want to protest the relocation, you can sign the notice and file it with the clerk of the circuit court to allow your ex-spouse to relocate with your child. If you do not sign the notice or you and your ex-spouse cannot come to an agreement on a parenting plan modification, your spouse can file a petition to seek to relocate.  

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