Ekker Law, P.C. / Steven B. Ekker, Esq.

What Parents with Shared Custody Should Know About Child Relocations in Illinois

 Posted on June 14, 2022 in Divorce

Kane County Divorce LawyerApproximately 40 million Americans move every year. When parents share custody of their children, moving can present a significant challenge. If you or your child’s other parent intend to change residences soon, it is important to know your rights and responsibilities. In certain situations, parents must get permission from their child’s other parent and the court to relocate to a new residence.

Moves Classified as “Relocations” are Subject to Special Requirements

A parent with the majority of parenting time (formerly called the custodial parent) or a parent in a shared parenting arrangement (each parent has at least 40 percent of the parenting time) may seek to relocate with their child.

Per Illinois statute, a move is classified as a relocation if:

  • The parent currently lives in Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, McHenry County, or Will County, and the new home is more than 25 miles away.

  • The parent currently lives in another Illinois county and the new home is at least 50 miles away.

  • The parent wishes to move to a new home that is more than 25 miles away and in another state.

If you want to move and your move counts as a relocation, you will be subject to additional requirements.

Steps to Take if You Wish to Relocate

If a parent wishes to relocate with the child, they must send a notice of the relocation to the other parent. The notice must include need-to-know information, including when the move is taking place, the parent’s new address, and whether the relocation is temporary or indefinite. If the other parent agrees to the relocation, the relocation can proceed without court approval. The parent is also required to notify the court of the relocation.

If a parent wishes to relocate and the other parent does not consent to the move, the parent must file a petition with the court and get the court’s permission to relocate. The court always prioritizes the child’s best interests when deciding whether to allow a relocation. The court will consider the reasons for the move, why the other parent does not consent to the move, each parent’s relationship with the child, the educational opportunities at each location, and several other factors. The child’s own preferences may also be considered by the court when making a decision about a relocation request. If the court feels that the relocation is in the child’s best interests, the court will grant the relocation.




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