Moving Your Children Out of Illinois
People move around much more often they once did. As transportation and communication continue to improve over time, it opens up a new host of questions for families, especially divorced families with children. There are rules about how and when you may take your children out of state, especially if your child is a minor. Lest you run afoul of the law, it is absolutely imperative to understand what the rules are in these cases, especially regarding questions of parental responsibilities.
Many people assume that if they been given sole authority to make all major decisions about their child’s welfare, they do not need to seek the other parent’s approval when planning a move. This, however, is not the case. In almost every situation, your child’s other parent has the right to object to your intended move out of state or beyond a certain distance within Illinois if he or she believes it is not in the best interest of your children. The court has the final say, of course, and can refuse to grant permission to move with your child if it finds that the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health will be compromised by the move.
If both parents share roughly equal time with the child or children, the non-moving parent will have more say in whether or not the relocation should be permitted than if he or she has little time with the child. A common compromise is for the non-moving parent to agree to the move and receive longer blocks of parenting time in return.
Reasons for Strict Regulations on Child Removal
Regardless of how important the reason for your move may be, you must obtain either the written consent of the other parent or a court order granting approval. If you do not have either, moving anyway could have serious consequences, including the loss of your parental responsibilities. guilty of kidnapping if you remove the child from the state. Receiving a court order if both parents have consented can happen in mere days, but if you and the other parent disagree, it can take up to a year or longer.
The main reason for such caution goes back to the question of what is in the child’s best interests. It is presumed that the child will benefit from having both parents in his or her life if possible. Historically, however, many parents would leave the state and simply vanish, leaving the other parent virtually helpless in their wake.
Nowadays, when a divorce petition or an action regarding parental responsibilities is first filed, Illinois courts typcially impose a binding order on both parents not to remove the children from the state for any reason—even vacations—without the written consent of the other parent or a court order. This is because right after the petition is filed is the time when most parental child abductions occur. A common scenario is when one parent has the child or children for a weekend visit and then simply does not appear to give the children back to the other parent. Illinois’ strict rules about movement of the children of divorced or unmarried parents aim to cut down on the possibility of abductions and potential criminal conduct.
Contact a Knowledgeable Attorney
If you are considering a move with your child, it is important to fully understand all of the applicable laws in Illinois. Contact an experienced parental relocation attorney in Geneva to discuss your options. Call 630-232-9700 for a confidential consultation with The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates today.