The relationship a parent has with their child is precious. Although advanced technology allows for communication, there is no substitute for the close contact parents have when near their child. One of the most argumentative issues in a divorce is where one parent requests to move the child.
Parents may struggle with the question of whether they should and even can relocate out of the Illinois with their child. If you are a single parent and are thinking about relocating with your child, it is important to know about the relocation laws in Illinois. Depending upon the current custody arrangement and the distance you plan to relocate, there could be some complications to be able to legally and lawfully move with the child.
The courts in Illinois generally want both parents to be involved in their child's life. If one parent moves away with the child, it can affect the relationship the child has with the other parent. Illinois statute says that if you are seeking relocation, you must first notify the other parent in writing. The notice should provide detailed information of where you are planning to move, why you are moving, and any proposed changes to their parenting plan.
If possible, this notice should occur 60 days before the move. If the other parent objects to the move, the court will then determine if the move is in the best interest of the child while also protecting the rights of both parents. If the court finds that the factors weigh in favor of the relocation, it will grant it unless it would impair the health and emotional development of the child.
The do's and don'ts of parental relocation
- DO give the other parent notice
- DON'T give notice after moving, must be before
- DO put notice in writing with required details
- DON'T withhold your new address
- DO encourage a parenting plan
- DON'T move in bad faith, keep the child's best interest in mind
A recent change in the law
Illinois now recognizes that one parent could move, but remain in the state, yet still take the child hundreds of miles away from the other parent. Because of this, there are new guidelines that factor in the current location and the distance of the move. The moving parent must notify the nonmoving parent if they plan to move more than 25 miles from their current residence - applies to Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry or Will counties. If you are planning on moving 50 miles outside of those counties, you must notify the other parent. Also, if you are moving to another state that is more than 25 miles from your current residence.