Can I Move With My Child If I Have Most of the Parenting Time?
Following 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?
If you are subject to a court-approved parenting plan and you at least half of the parenting time for your child, how far you are allowed to move depends on where you currently live and where you intend to go. Presuming that you live in Kane County, you are allowed to move with your child anywhere you please within 25 miles of your current home. The same rules apply to those who live in Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, McHenry County, and Will County.
For those who live in other Illinois counties, a move of up to 50 miles is automatically permitted, as long as the new home is still in Illinois. If the new home is outside of Illinois, the move may not exceed 25 miles.
Illinois law requires the non-moving parent to approve a move that is beyond the applicable limit. Such a move is called a “relocation.” To obtain the other parent’s permission for a relocation, you must notify the other parent in writing with at least 60 days’ notice if possible. The other parent will have the option of signing the written notice, signifying his or her consent, or refusing to sign. If the other parent agrees, the court will approve the move and amend the parenting plan to accommodate the new living situation. If the other parent objects, you have the option of petitioning the court to override the objection.
Proving Your Case
When you petition the court for a relocation, you will need to show that you are acting in good faith and that the move will ultimately serve the child’s best interests. You must also demonstrate your willingness to facilitate your child’s relationship with the other parent. The court will consider many factors, including employment and educational opportunities, the presence or absence of extended family, and the expected impact of the move on the child when making its decision.
Contact Us for Help
If you are considering a relocation, the process can be complicated, but we are equipped to help. Contact an experienced Kane County family law attorney to get the guidance you need. Call 630-232-9700 for a confidential consultation at The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates today.