Moving out of Illinois Following Divorce
Order for Removal of Child in Illinois
After your divorce is final, you may find yourself wanting to move out of state. Perhaps you want to be closer to your family, or you have found a new job that will advance your career. Or, you may have remarried and your new spouse needs to relocate for work. The only problem is, you and your ex-spouse have a child custody agreement.
Can you move out of Illinois and take the children with you?
You have two options if you want to move out of state with your child: get the other parent’s permission, or obtain an order for removal from the court.
Parental permission for child to move out of state
If your child’s other parent agrees to the child moving out of state with you, then you have no issue. Some parents include a move in a parenting plan, if they knew at the time of the divorce proceedings that a move was imminent. If your ex-spouse agrees, you do not need to obtain an order from the Court. However, because a move will likely alter visitation as set forth in your parenting agreement, you and your spouse should sit down and revise the plan to reflect the new living arrangements.
Court permission for child to move out of state
If your child’s other parent will not agree to the child moving out of state, you must petition the Court for an order of removal. The Court will grant permission to permanently remove the child from Illinois if it is in the child’s best interest. Because the Court presumes that the involvement of both parents is in a child’s best interests — and a move out of state would significantly impact the ability of both parents to be involved in a child’s life — the parent seeking to remove the child from the state has the burden of proving that the move is in the child’s best interest.
Factors the Judge may consider when deciding whether to grant permission to remove the child include:
- A child’s needs, and whether they can best be met in Illinois or the new state;
- If a child’s living situation will be better or worse if he moves out of state; and
- Whether there is an important reason for the move.
An important reason depends on the circumstances.
If the child has a medical condition that can best be treated at a hospital outside of the Palatine area, or if the custodial parent has a job opportunity that would bring in substantially more income, the Court may consider those important enough reasons to grant the order for removal. An additional reason may be when the custodial parent and the child were the victim of domestic violence or other forms of abuse from the other parent.
The fact that the parent wanting to move out of state has sole custody generally will not make a difference in the Court’s decision. Moreover, in situations where the other party only has visitation, even if it is only once a month, moving out of state will hamper the exercise of that visitation, which is not in the child’s best interest.
Palatine Child Custody Attorney
If you are contemplating moving out of state with your child, you should first consult with a skilled Palatine child custody attorney. Like a child custody case, you must prove that moving out of state is in your child’s best interest. Nicholas W. Richardson has more than 10 years of experience helping parents with child custody issues, including relocating outside of Illinois. Please contact his office today to begin discussing your case.