Understanding Parental Relocation in Illinois

 Posted on December 21, 2022 in Parental Relocation

geneva child custody lawyerThe Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act underwent significant modifications in 2016 that changed the rules regarding parental relocations. Whereas parents were once allowed to move anywhere within Illinois without getting approval from a court or the other parent, parents must now comply with a new set of guidelines.

The old law was viewed as problematic because a parent living in the Chicago area could move almost 400 miles south to Cairo without notification, while a 30 mile drive to Gary, Indiana would require approval. Under changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, moves over a certain distance require approval. The phrase “child removal” has also been replaced with relocation.

Moving Versus Relocation 

Moves under a certain distance are not considered relocations and do not require approval:

  • Parents living in Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, McHenry County, or Will County can move to a new location in Illinois less than 25 miles away from a previous residence without approval
  • Parents living outside of the aforementioned counties can move to a new residence in Illinois that is no more than 50 miles away from a previous residence without approval.
  • Parents living near the Illinois border can move to another state without approval, but only a location that is no more than 25 miles away from the previous location.

Relocations Require Approval 

If a proposed move exceeds the limitations listed above, the parent will need to follow the new relocation guidelines.

When a parent wants to relocate with a child, they must submit a written notice of their relocation plans that includes the date of their intended move, the address of a new residence, and the length of time the relocation will last if it is not permanent. Relocating parents are expected to give the other parents at least 60 days' notice of a move.

When deciding whether to grant a relocation, courts will have to consider a child’s wishes (depending on their age), a child’s adjustment to their new home, school, and community, the wishes of the parents, the child’s needs, the distance between the parents’ residences, and other factors. When moves are contested, then both parties can call witnesses and submit evidence to the court.

Courts in Illinois will often consider the parents’ motives for moving, such as moving to further their careers or provide a better education for their child.

Contact a Kane County Parental Relocation Lawyer

The Geneva parental relocation attorneys at The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates provide legal advocacy and support during parental relocations. Call 630-232-9700 or contact us online to schedule a confidential consultation.

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