What is a Parental Relocation?
As you try to provide for your children, it is important to stay aware of any and all potential opportunities that may arise. Sometimes, these opportunities may require you to move out of the area, and in some cases, to a different state. When children are not a consideration, it is relatively easy to pick up and move, and start a life in a new location. When a custody order—or a parenting plan under the updated law—is involved, you will need to understand what the law requires before you attempt a relocation.
The same measure that updated the state’s provisions on child custody also clarified what constitutes a relocation. Under the previous version of the law, only an out-of-state move required special consideration. Beginning this year, however, the updated statute provides direction on what a parental relocation is and the steps necessary in completing one.
By statutory definition, a relocation is a move with a child by a parent with half or more of the parenting time—or the custodial parent under a previously existing order—that exceeds:
- 25 miles to a new home in Illinois from a current residence in the Chicago Metro area, which includes Cook, DuPage, Kane, McHenry, Lake, and Will Counties;
- 50 miles to a new home in Illinois from a current residence outside of the Chicago Metro area;
- 25 miles to a new home outside of Illinois from a current residence anywhere within the state.
Preparing to Relocate
The new law also requires any parent seeking a move that qualifies as a relocation to obtain the consent of the other parent. The move is considered to be a significant change in circumstances for the purposes of a custody or visitation order, so a modification will also be required. If the other parent does not consent to the relocation, a family court judge may consider the matter. The court must take into account a number of factors including:
- The parent’s reasons for seeking the move;
- The other parent’s reasons for contesting the move;
- The history and quality of each parent’s relationship with the child, including failed responsibilities;
- Educational opportunities for the child at the proposed location;
- Presence or absence of extended family at the proposed location and at the current residence;
- The expected overall impact to the child; and
- The ability to draft a reasonable allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time schedule.
If the court finds the relocation to be in the child’s overall best interest, it will be permitted to take place and the parenting plan or custody order will be updated as needed.
For answers to your questions regarding relocation and other child-related legal matters, contact an experienced Geneva family law attorney. We will review your situation and help you find the best solution to whatever issue you may be facing. Schedule your confidential consultation by calling 630-232-9700 today.