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How Does a Parent’s Relocation Affect Child Custody in Illinois?

 Posted on August 12, 2021 in Family Law

Geneva Child Custody LawyerWhen parents get divorced in Illinois, one of the most important considerations is how to address child custody through the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. These decisions should be made in the children’s best interests, and this typically means that it is important to maintain stability in the children’s living arrangements as much as possible. However, it is not uncommon for a parent to move to a new location in the years following a divorce. If you or your children’s other parent intends to relocate, it is important to understand what this could mean for your parenting plan.

Parental Relocation Requires Approval

In Illinois, if a parent who has equal or majority parenting time wants to move with their child, they will need to determine whether that move requires approval from the other parent or the court system. The need for approval is based on the location of the child’s current primary residence and the distance of the relocation. If the child currently resides in Cook County, Kane County, DuPage County, Will County, Lake County, or McHenry County, approval is required for a move of more than 25 miles within Illinois. If the child resides in any other Illinois county, approval is required for a move of more than 50 miles within Illinois. Additionally, any out-of-state relocation of at least 25 miles from the child’s current Illinois residence requires approval.

Generally, a relocating parent must notify the other parent of the intended move at least 60 days in advance. If the other parent consents, the move will likely be approved. However, if the other parent contests the relocation, the court will need to consider the child’s best interests to determine whether the move should be approved.

Parental Relocation Requires Changes to the Parenting Plan

Whether the relocation is approved by the other parent or allowed by court order, it will likely require substantial modifications to the parenting plan. Perhaps most notably, parents will need to determine how to fairly share parenting time such that both parents can maintain meaningful relationships with their children. This may mean taking advantage of school breaks to allow for longer periods of parenting time with less frequent exchanges. It is also a good idea to include arrangements for long-distance transportation between parents, as well as communication regarding important decisions related to the children’s growth and well-being.

Contact a Kane County Family Law Attorney

At Serrano Hanson, we know that a parent’s relocation can affect the whole family. We can represent you in your efforts to petition for relocation or contest the other parent’s move, and we also help with any necessary parenting plan modifications. Call us today at 630-844-8781 to learn what our Geneva, IL child custody lawyers can do for you.





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