When Can a Custodial Parent Move With Their Child?

Posted on in Child Custody and Support

Geneva child relocation lawyerThere is no question that after a divorce, the lives of the spouses and their children will change significantly. Additional changes may occur in the years to come, and there may be a time when one parent decides to move to a new location that is a significant distance away from the other parent. However, there are restrictions on how a custodial parent may proceed in cases involving parental relocation, and the well-being of a child and the rights of the other parent must be protected. 

Illinois Parental Relocation Laws

While Illinois law no longer uses the term “custody,” the parent with the majority of the parenting time is often referred to as the custodial parent. If this parent decides to move to a new home, may need to seek the approval of the court, and the other parent may argue against the move if it affects their parenting time with a child. 

A parent living in Kane County can only move up to 25 miles from the current living situation without approval from the court. The same goes for Cook, Lake, Dupage, Will, and McHenry Counties. For all other counties in Illinois, a parent may move up to 50 miles away within the state. Interstate moves require approval if they are more than 25 miles from the current home. 

If a parent does require approval for a move, they must notify the other parent and the court. If the other parent has no objections to the move, and if the court decides that the move is in the child’s best interests, the move will be approved, and the parenting plan will be modified to address any changes to parenting time or parental responsibility. However, if the other parent does not agree with the move, the court will consider the following factors to determine whether to give approval:

  • Reason: If the reason for a move is to strategically keep the other parent away, in normal non-abuse circumstances, the court will likely not approve the move. However, if the parent who plans to relocate is doing so to pursue financial opportunities, or if they are moving to be with a new spouse, these reasons may be considered legitimate. 
  • Child’s best interests: When a significant move is put on the table, the court will review the quality of life standards for the move and how the move will affect the child’s relationship with the other parent. If the parent is getting a significant increase in income, is moving to a better neighborhood, or will be able to provide better educational opportunities for the child, they will likely have a good case for moving. 

Contact a Kane County Parental Relocation Lawyer

Although a parent may have good reasons to move to a new location with their child, the court will look to ensure that both parents’ parental rights are protected. If you are planning to relocate with your child, or if your ex-spouse plans to relocate, our experienced Geneva family law attorneys can help you understand your rights and work with you to follow the correct legal procedures. Call our office today at 630-232-9700 to schedule a consultation.  


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