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How Can I Relocate With My Child After an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on May 22, 2024 in Child Custody

Schaumburg, IL child custody lawyerParents who get divorced often have trouble getting used to the fact that a court can get involved in life decisions that affect the child. For example, if a parent begins dating someone who might be a threat to the child’s well-being, the judge can restrict that parent’s parenting time, also known as physical custody.

Similarly, if a parent wants to relocate with the child, he or she will require court approval. An Illinois divorce lawyer will be able to determine this by looking at several factors, which this article will discuss. The general rule is that if either parent makes a change that affects the parenting plan, he or she will need court approval.

What Is a Parenting Plan?

A parenting plan is a legally binding document that outlines how two ex-spouses will parent a child together after the divorce. It includes such details as:

  • Schedules for parenting time

  • Transportation arrangements for the child

  • How the parents will share decision-making responsibilities

  • How the parents will communicate with the child when they are not together

Parents who get divorced are required to submit a parenting plan to the court. If they do not, a court will create one. Either way, the judge will make the parenting plan legally binding and any changes to the plan will require court approval.

What if I Want to Relocate?

Under Illinois law, relocation means that the child’s place of residence moves in one of the following three ways:

  • Outside of Illinois and more than 25 miles away from the child’s current home

  • Within Illinois and more than 25 miles away from the child’s current home if it is in Will County, Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, Kane County, or McHenry County

  • Within Illinois and more than 50 miles away from the child’s current home in every other county

So, if the custodial parent — meaning the parent who has the majority of parenting time — wants to relocate, he or she will need to follow a certain procedure.

What Steps Do I Need to Take?

If you are a custodial parent who wants to relocate, you need to do the following:

  • Notify your co-parent at least 60 days before the move. 

  • File a copy of that notice with the court.

  • Get your co-parent’s approval. The relocation will almost certainly require changes to the parenting plan, which your co-parent may or not approve. If he or she approves, a court is likely to do the same and amend the parenting plan.

  • If your co-parent does not approve, you will need to get a judge’s approval. This is difficult to obtain unless you can prove that it serves the child’s best interests.

Contact a Schaumburg, IL Relocation Attorney

Relocation is a serious life change for the child and the parents. It requires not only logistical planning but also legal planning. If you are considering relocating with your child, you should contact an experienced Schaumburg, Illinois relocation attorney who can guide you through the process. At A. Traub & Associates, we are skilled at helping custodial parents relocate with minimal legal hassle. Call 630-426-0196 to schedule a consultation and start planning your relocation today.

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