Beginning the Process of Child Relocation in Illinois

Posted on in Divorce

Relocating to a new home for work is complex when divorced parents share custody of a child. This is because Illinois has strict regulations regarding the processes parents must follow when moving with a child. As such, the very action intended to benefit yourself and your child – a promising employment opportunity – may be complicated by the allocation of parental responsibility and parenting time set forth in your court-ordered divorce decree.

In some cases, your former spouse may be supportive of work-related relocation, even if it has support and custody-related implications. In other instances, however, the two of you may not agree about modifications to the allocation of parental responsibility when attempting to initiate child relocation. In times like these, it is essential to have experienced legal representation.

Relocation is a Question of Distance

If you were divorced in Illinois, provide your child’s primary residence, and are moving to a new residence in the state less than 25 miles from your current residence for work-related reasons, you do not have to worry about revisiting the existing allocation of parental responsibility ordered by the court in your divorce.

If, however, your move is of 25 miles or more from a current residence in Cook, DuPage, Will, Kane, Lake, or McHenry County, it officially constitutes a “relocation” under Illinois law. The same is true if you live in a county other than the six enumerated above, provide the primary residence of your child, and move to a new residence within Illinois that is at least 50 miles away from your current residence.

A “relocation” is also deemed to have occurred under state law if, regardless of the county you live in, you move to a residence in another state that is at least 25 miles away from your current residence. So, if you are moving from a county in northeastern Illinois to one in Indiana, Michigan, or Wisconsin, this guideline may impact your move.

Communication and Modification Go Hand in Hand

If you share the allocation of parental responsibility (formerly known as child custody) with your former spouse, then communication regarding an intended work-related move is essential in modifying the existing particulars of your divorce decree. Such communication begins with adequate notice (at least 60 days prior to the planned move) of the date, address, and duration of your intended move. In addition to notifying your ex-spouse, you will need to obtain approval from the court, where a judge will decide whether modifications to your parenting plan are in your child’s best interests.

Whether you need help drafting a notice to be signed by the non-moving parent or obtaining relocation approval from the court, the Law Offices of Nancy Kasko, LLC can provide you with the legal help you need. Contact a Wheaton divorce attorney by calling 630-836-8540 to schedule a free consultation.