Am I Allowed to Move With My Child?
In the past, a parent typically could relocate with his or her child anywhere within the state of Illinois. If the parent wanted to move outside of Illinois, he or she would have to obtain permission from the Court in order to do so. Changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) that took effect on January 1, 2016, however, dramatically changed the rules for a parent who wants to relocate with his or her child where the parents are divorced or otherwise separated and draws a sharp distinction between the requirements for a parent moving with a child and relocating with a child.
Moving With Your Child
If the parent with which a child spends most of his or her time wants to move, he or she is generally able to do so without the permission of the Court. Under Illinois law, “moving” refers to a parent living in a new home that is no more than 25 miles away from the original home that is located in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake or Will Counties. Moving also includes moving to a new home that is no more than 50 miles away from the parent's original home if it is located in a county other than those previously mentioned. Despite this ability to move without Court involvement, however, a parent still should provide the child's other parent with his or her new address and telephone number.
Relocating With Your Child
Relocation with a child, however, requires the parent to take certain steps to notify the other parent and the Court of the proposed relocation, and to ultimately seek the permission of the Court to relocate. Under the newly revised IMDMA, a parent who is seeking to relocate with a child must file a “notice of intent to relocate” with the Court, and provide a copy of that notice to the other parent at least 60 days prior to the date of the proposed relocation. If your child's other parent agrees to the proposed move and signs your notice, you can go ahead and relocate without appearing in court or doing anything further. The Court simply will change your existing parenting plan to reflect the relocation.
When a Proposed Relocation is in Dispute
If your child's other parent doesn't agree with your proposed relocation or doesn't sign your notice, then you must get permission from the Court in order to relocate. The Court will hold a hearing on the issue of your proposed relocation, and after hearing evidence from both parents, will make a decision about whether you can move with your child or not. Some of the factors that the Court will consider in making its decision will include the reason for your proposed relocation, the nature of each parent's relationship with the child, the presence of extended family members and the quality of educational opportunities in the different locations, the overall impact of the proposed move on the child and the child's wishes.
Contact Your Illinois Family Law Attorneys Today
Skilled Palatine family law attorney Nicholas Richardson focuses his efforts on assisting you in your family law case, whether a parent is seeking to move from the area or there is another reason to change the existing parenting plan. All too often, parents make the mistake of thinking that they can handle legal matters on their own. However, Illinois family law is complex and has changed significantly in recent years. Therefore, it is essential that you seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the litigation process and help ensure that you meet your goals. Call the office at 847.873.6741 for an appointment today.