Your Family Matters

When can you move with your child?

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2022 | family law

Divorced or separated parents may not always have the ability to exercise independence when they have children and there is an ongoing court case. Failure to comply with Illinois custody and visitation laws can have serious consequences.

Moving allowed

 Illinois family law allows a parent to move with their child if the child is not involved in any court case involving the child. However, both parents must be married or in a civil union. A parent may also move if they are the child’s biological mother and the child lived with that parent for over 6 months.

Court cases involving children

But when a parent moves out of Illinois and the other parent files a parental responsibilities action in the state within 6 months, that parent may have to return to the state to participate in that case. It is possible that the child will also have to go back to Illinois.

A parental responsibilities case, formerly known as a custody case, involves a court addressing how the parents make significant decisions. These include time spent with and care for their children.

Other court cases involving children also have specific rules on when a parent may move with their child.

Moving and relocating

 A parent with a court order concerning responsibilities as a parent and having the most time with the child can if they seek permission from the other parent or the court. However, relocation is classified differently from moving, has different rules and requires court permission.

Relocation occurs when a parent does one of the following:

  • Moves over 25 miles from the child’s original home if it is located in Cook, DuPage, McHenry, Kane, Lake or Will Counties and their new home is outside Illinois.
  • Moves over 50 miles away from the original home within this state if it is not in Cook, DuPage, McHenry, Kane, Lake, or Will Counties.

A parent relocating with their children must file a notice of relocation, which has to be served upon the other parent at least 2 months before relocating. When the other parent does not object and signs this notice, the relocating parent should file the signed notice with the court and may relocate without court approval. If this occurs, the court will change the parenting plan and responsibilities order to allow this move.

The parent must seek permission from the court, through a petition to relocate, if the other parent objects or does not sign the notice. The court will convene a hearing and rule on whether relocation is in the best interests of the child. The court must consider:

  • Each parent’s relationship with their child.
  • The reasons for the relocation.
  • The child’s educational opportunities at each location.
  • Arrangements for each parent’s responsibilities.
  • Extended family at both locations.
  • The relocation’s impact on the child.
  • The child’s wishes.

Attorneys can help parents negotiate over custody and visitation issues and seek a reasonable resolution that is in the child’s best interests. They may also represent parents in court cases on these issues.