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Illinois child custody: Relocating with children after a divorce

When Illinois custodial parents wish to move out of state with their children, they must get approval from the court of their child’s noncustodial parent.

An employment change, new job opportunities, the desire to be closer to family or friends, and any other number of reasons may prompt people to move away from Chicago, or out of Illinois. This is especially true following a divorce. For custodial parents, however, relocating may not be as simple as packing up some boxes and loading a moving truck. In order for parents who have physical custody of their children to move out of the state, they may require permission from their child’s other parent, or the court.

Permission from the noncustodial parent

Perhaps the easiest way for custodial parents to receive permission to move out of the state is to get approval from their child’s noncustodial parent. When both parents agree to a move, they can typically avoid legal action to resolve the matter. Often, parents reach this type of agreement by talking with each other. This type of approval may also be reached if the custodial parent sends a notice to the noncustodial parent, and the court. Illinois state law stipulates that the noncustodial parent has 21 days to contest the move, which may be allowed if there is no objection.

Even if noncustodial parents initially agree to allow a move out of state, they may later change their minds. Therefore, it may be important to put the agreement in writing, as well as to have it notarized. It should also include any changes to the existing visitation agreement. This may help ensure both parents are protected in the event that a disagreement arises later regarding the move or visitation arrangements.

Approval from the court

Under Illinois state law, the court may grant a custodial parent’s request for relocation only when it is deemed to be in the best interests of the child. Such orders may be issued even if the noncustodial parent objects. In these cases, it falls to the custodial parents to prove that the move is in the child’s best interests.

There are a number of factors that the court will consider in determining whether to approve a request for relocation. Under state law, these factors include the following:

  • Whether moving will enhance the child and custodial parent’s quality of life
  • The reason why the custodial parent wishes to move
  • The motive for the noncustodial parent’s objection to the relocation
  • Whether a realistic and reasonable visitation schedule can be reached and implemented
  • The time and cost that will be involved with visitation as a result of the move

Furthermore, the court may also take into consideration the distance of the move.

Obtain legal representation

Failing to get the appropriate permission before moving may result in serious issues for parents in Illinois. As such, parents who are considering relocation outside of the state may benefit from working with an attorney. A legal representative may help them understand their rights, as well as guide them through the process of obtaining the necessary permission or approval.

Contact Our Illinois Divorce & Custody Law Firm Today

You will find our attorneys to be flexible, responsive, and ready to begin providing exceptional representation to protect your rights and your best interests immediately. Call our law office now at 312-624-7645 to schedule a consultation about your family law needs at no initial charge.


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