Following a divorce, some parents may want to relocate to another location and begin anew. They may have a new significant other, a new job or just want to be closer to extended family. As of 2016, if you are planning to move, you may need the blessing of the other parent if you plan to move beyond a set distance.
For example, if you reside locally in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry or Will County and plan to move more than 25 miles from your existing home to another location within the state, you will need to notify your ex. In all other counties in Illinois, the distance is set at more than 50 or, if you plan to move out of the state of Illinois, you will need to provide notice if it is located more than 25 miles from the child’s current home.
With these limits in mind, parents required to provide written notice of their intent to move include those with whom the child resides the majority of time or when a child resides with both parents an equal amount of time.
Relocation notification must be sent 60 days in advance of your move with few exceptions. It must include details such as the date of the move, the new address and the length of time a parent intends to stay if temporary.
If your ex-spouse agrees with the relocation, they simply sign the notice and you file it with the court. If he or she objects, the relocating parent must file a petition with the court asking for permission.
The court will look at many factors depending on the circumstances of the move. Have a new job? The court will likely look at whether the job represents an improvement to the standard of living of the child and parent. Have a new love interest calling you out of state? Again the best interests of the child come first. Does the child have a good relationship with the step parent? Does the move seem promising in terms of a better standard of living and overall well being of the child? Will a move translate into better schools safer neighborhoods?
Of significant importance, will the distance from the other parent represent a particular hardship? What is the distance in terms of travel time? Is there a willingness to work with each other to make parenting time feasible? Preserving the child’s relationship with both parents cannot be overlooked.
While many parents understand that life goes on after divorce and there is always some give and take, a proposed relocation can come as a blow. As distances grow so do chasms in a relationships if one parent is unable to maintain regular contact with their child. Sometimes an ex’s intentions are sincere with the child’s best interests at heart, while other times the move smacks of undermining the importance of maintaining the child’s relationship with both parents.
If you are seeking to relocate and believe that you will be fighting an uphill battle with your ex, you will have to show the court that the move is in your child’s best interest and that any parenting time issues can be overcome. If, on the other hand, your ex-spouse has notified you that he or she is moving with your child to a new location and you cannot see the up side, you will have to convince the court that your child’s interests are not being served.
Contact an Experienced Illinois Child Relocation & Child Custody Attorney
If an Illinois child relocation is in the works, it is a good idea to discuss your options with an experienced family law attorney. You may want to modify your parenting time agreement or perhaps request a child support adjustment for extraordinary travel expenses related to the relocation. It is important to think through the issues so you can make the best decision on behalf of your family. Contact the Law Offices of Schlesinger & Strauss LLC for help with Illinois parenting time and responsibility matters, child support or other family law issues today.