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Kane County family law attorneysToday’s world is, in many ways, more connected than ever before. Thanks to the rise of digital and online technology, it has never been easier to look for new employment or educational opportunities that may exist far from your current home. For some people, it is also relatively easy to pick up and move to a new city or state in search of a better life, but this is not the case for everyone. If you are divorced, separated, or unmarried and you and your child’s other parent share parental responsibilities, moving to a new area can be rather complicated.

How Far Is Too Far?

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides that any move that qualifies as a “relocation” must be approved by the court in advance. A relocation is any move by a parent with half or more of the parenting time with the child that exceeds a certain radius from the current home. If you currently live in Kane County—or Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, or Will County—an in-state move of more than 25 miles is a relocation. If you currently live in any other county, a relocation is any in-state move of over 50 miles. Finally, if you live anywhere in Illinois and move more than 25 miles to a new out-of-state home, the move is considered a relocation.

Why Is Approval Needed?

The law requires you to obtain the court’s permission for a relocation to ensure that the rights of your child’s other parent are not being unduly compromised. The other parent—in most cases—has the right to reasonable parenting time with your child and the new geographical distance can present major challenges. Obtaining the court’s approval can be relatively easy if the other parent does not object to your proposed relocation. If you are able to negotiate a new parenting time plan that allows for a continued relationship between the other parent and your child, the move will likely be allowed to proceed. If the other parent does not agree and you still wish to pursue the relocation, you will need to convince the court that move serves your child’s best interests.

Kane County relocation attorneysIn past generations, it was not terribly uncommon for a person to grow up in a given area and to spend the vast majority of his or her life in that same area. This was especially true in financially healthy regions where jobs and educational opportunities were readily available. Today, however, is a different story, as a people are much more likely to move greater distances than ever before. Some move for employment reasons, others for education, and still others just for a change in scenery. While moving is rarely easy, most adults have the freedom to relocate whenever they choose, but for those who are subject to an Illinois parenting plan, there are limits on how far a move can be.

Who Is Affected?

The state of Illinois is invested in looking out for the best interests of children—especially those whose parents have divorced or were never married. Thus, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) provides specific guidance for parents who wish to move to a new home. The IMDMA states that a parent who has the majority of the parenting time with their child or shares parenting time equally with the other parent must adhere to certain rules when considering a move.

Geneva parental relocation attorneyFollowing a divorce, very few parents are able to reach an agreement in which their children spend equal time with both parents. In Illinois, however, parenting time is handled separately from significant decision-making responsibilities, which means that even if parenting time is not split equally, both parents could have equal authority regarding major decisions for the child.

Sometimes, the parent that has been given the majority of the parenting may wish to move from his or her current home. Because the child spends more than half of the time with that parent, it is easy for the parent to assume that they can simply move whenever they please. The law in Illinois does allow parents who share parenting time to move to a new home, but it must be done within certain geographical areas unless the non-moving parent grants his or her consent to the move.

How Far Can I Go?

Geneva family law attorneyIn today’s world, it is not uncommon for a person to seek a fresh start by moving to a new city—sometimes even across the country. This may be particularly appealing after a divorce, as a new beginning may be cathartic in many ways. While the average American has the freedom to move wherever he or she wants at any time, such is not always the case for a divorced parent who shares parenting time of a child with a former spouse.

Rules for Relocating

The state of Illinois has established laws designed to help keep both parents active in the life of their child, even after a divorce. Regarding moving to a new city or state, Illinois law is clear. A parent with at least half of the parenting time of a child may only move with the child within a certain radius of his or her current home before the move is considered a “relocation.” A relocation requires the consent of the other parent or the approval of the court.

Posted on in Parental Relocation

Geneva family law attorneyIt is easy to understand how such a situation could arise. You and your spouse divorced several years ago, and, while the process was not easy, you managed to reach a reasonable agreement that addressed not only your property and finances but arrangements for your children as well. Based on your circumstances and what was best for your children, you were granted primary residential responsibilities while the other parent was afforded ample visitation time. Things could always be a little better, but you realize that you have it pretty good overall. Your children are happy and healthy, and enjoy a strong relationship with both you and your former spouse.

Then, one day at work you are taken by surprise when your boss offers you a substantial promotion—but there is a catch. To take the new position, you will need to move away from Northern Illinois to your company’s headquarters in Dallas, Texas. On a professional level, there is no way you can turn down such an opportunity, but, as a parent subject to a parenting plan or child custody order, the decision is not so simple.

Negotiating With the Other Parent

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