Illinois Family Law: Relocation with Children

Rincker Law Family/Matrimonial Law 1 Comment

Various reasons prompt a parent to want to relocate with his or her child.  Illinois, like most states, has strict procedures to follow when requesting a relocation since the relocation often times jeopardizes the relationship and time spent with the other parent.

Relocation refers to three situations in Illinois, dependent on location:

  • The parent moving more than 25 miles from the child’s current home (if the child lives in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will County);
  • The parent moving more than 50 miles from the child’s current home (if the child lives in any other county not mentioned above within the State of Illinois); or
  • The parent moving out of state to a new residence that is located more than 25 miles from the child’s current home. See 750 ILCS 5/600.

Step 1: Notice

In all situations, there must be at least sixty (60) days’ prior written notice of the relocation to the other parent, unless such notice is impracticable or unless otherwise ordered by the court.  If a parent fails to comply with the notice requirement, without good cause, then the court may consider this in determining whether the parent’s relocation is in good faith, and/or as a basis for awarding reasonable attorney’s fees and costs resulting from the parent’s failure to comply with the notice provision of the statute.

Step 2(a): Consent

If the non-relocating parent signs the notice (consents to the relocation) and files it with the court, the relocation is permitted and the court will modify the parenting plan, under the condition that the change to the plan is within the child’s best interest.

Step 2(b): Object

However, if the non-relocating parent contests (or objects) to the relocation, the parent seeking to relocation must file a Petition to Relocate seeking permission from a judge to relocate.

Step 3: The Petition

In the Petition, the parent must allege the reasons for relocation.  The court will look at the Petition keeping in mind the best interest of the child.  These factors include:

(1) the circumstances and reasons for the intended relocation;

(2) the reasons, if any, why a parent is objecting to the intended relocation;

(3) the history and quality of each parent’s relationship with the child and specifically whether a parent has substantially failed or refused to exercise the parental responsibilities allocated to him or her under the parenting plan or allocation judgment;

(4) the educational opportunities for the child at the existing location and at the proposed new location;

(5) the presence of absence of extended family at the existing location and at the proposed new  location;

(6) the anticipated impact of the relocation on the child;

(7) whether the court will be able to fashion a reasonable allocation of parental responsibilities between all parents if the relocation occurs;

(8) the wishes of the child, taking into account the child’s maturity and ability to express reasoned and independent preferences as to relocation;

(9) possible arrangement for the exercise of parental responsibilities appropriate to the parents’ resources and circumstances and the developmental level of the child;

(10) minimization of the impairment to a parent-child relationship caused by a parent’s relocation; and

(11) any other relevant factors bearing on the child’s best interest.

Rincker Law is prepared to assist you with any disputes involving relocation.  Cari Rincker is also a trained mediator for these types of child custody and parenting time disputes. 

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