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DuPage County child custody attorneysIf you are a parent who is unmarried, divorced, or planning to end your marriage, you may have questions about child custody. Disputes about the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time can be complicated and contentious. One issue that commonly arises is a parent wishing to move or relocate. If you or your child’s other parent is planning to move, you should know the laws in Illinois regarding parental relocations and how this may influence your parental responsibilities and parenting time.  

Defining “Relocation”

Considerable changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) went into effect in 2016. Among these changes was a total overhaul of how the state deals with parental relocations. Formally called “child removal,” moving with a child when you share custody can dramatically change the co-parenting situation. If a parent with the majority of parenting time, formerly called the “custodial parent” or a parent with equal parenting time wishes to “relocate,” there are certain steps he or she is required to take. A parental move is considered a “relocation” if:

  • The parent currently lives in Cook County, Kane County, DuPage County, Lake County, Will County, or McHenry County and wishes to move to more than 25 miles away while remaining in Illinois.
  • The parent currently lives in another Illinois county and wishes to move more than 50 miles away while remaining in Illinois.
  • The parent wishes to move more than 25 miles away to a new residence outside of Illinois.

Relocation Requirements

If you are the parent with the majority of parenting time or equal parenting time and your move is considered a relocation, you will need to notify the other parent about the relocation at least 60 days in advance. You must tell the other parent the date you intend to move, your new address, and how long you plan to live in the new residence. If the other parent does not object to your relocation, you then make any necessary adjustments to your parenting plan and submit it to the court for approval.

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DuPage County family law attorneyAfter a divorce, it is not unusual for the spouses to seek new beginnings. They may find new partners, look for new jobs, or move to a new town. Divorced parents, however, are not usually free to move their children with no strings attached. There are several circumstances in which a court may intervene - most importantly, if the parent with primary residential responsibilities wishes to move a significant distance or out of state.

The Rights to Parenting Time

The most common situations in which a child need to relocate are (1) when his or her parent remarries; and (2) when the parent or the parent’s new spouse receives a job offer in a different city or state. A parental move, however, can affect the parenting time rights of the other parents, which may be inequitable and unjust.

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DuPage County family law attorneyWhen you share parental responsibilities with your ex-partner, the decisions you make about your life affect more than just you. They affect your children and, in some ways, even your ex. Depending on what has happened between you and the other parent, you may not be too concerned with what he or she thinks about how you live your life. If you are subject to a court-sanctioned parenting plan, however, there are some limitations regarding what you can and cannot do without the court’s approval.

One such consideration addresses where you choose to live and whether you have the right to move once a parenting plan is in place. According to the law in Illinois, a move beyond a certain distance from your current home requires the consent of the other parent or the court.

Defining a Relocation

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