You have an opportunity that can make your children’s lives even better. Maybe that’s a new job that will improve your family’s financial situation or the opportunity to buy a lovely home with yard space and room to run and play that you always hoped the children would have.
You have to move, making your custody arrangement much more difficult — and maybe not possible without your co-parent’s permission.
Under Illinois law, you are considered to be “relocating” if you:
- Move from a residence in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will counties to a new Illinois residence that is further than 25 miles from your home
- Move from any county, other than those specified above, to any location more than 50 miles from where you currently live
- Move from a home anywhere in Illinois to a home outside the state that is more than 25 miles from where you currently reside
If you have the majority of parenting time with your children or you have equal parenting time with your co-parent, you must fill out the Notice of Relocation form and give it to your co-parent at least 60 days before your planned move. You must also file this Notice with the court. Information you must provide includes the names of the children you intend to have move with you, the date you plan to move, your new address (if known), and the expected duration of the move if it isn’t permanent.
If your co-parent reviews the request, agrees and signs the paperwork, the notice can be submitted to the court along with a revised parenting plan. The court will sign off on the plan, provided it is deemed to be in the children’s best interest.
But if your co-parent disagrees and won’t sign the notice, the parent who wants to move has to file a petition to ask the court to rule to allow the relocation. The judge will consider several factors, including the reason for the move, the children’s relationship with each parent, the access to extended family, educational opportunities, and the ability to create a reasonable parenting plan, in deciding whether to grant a parent’s petition seeking the ability to relocate.
We all want what is best for our children, but if you anticipate difficulties in your relocation, a family law attorney can answer questions that might arise.