Child Relocation: Your Rights to Object to a Move
When you have limited time with your child due to a divorce or breakup, the time you do get to spend with your child is extremely valuable. It is during this time that you must foster the relationship you share with your child and strengthen the parent-child bond between you. Anything that threatens your parenting time, then, must be taken very seriously, especially if your parenting time could be affected for an extended period of time. This is typically the case when your child's other parent intends to move with the child to a new city or state. Such a move is usually considered a relocation and Illinois law provides you, as a parent, with certain rights to object.
Legal Definition of Relocation
The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act defines a relocation as a move by a parent with half or more of the parenting time outside of a certain radius. A move is considered a relocation if it includes the child and is a move of:
- More than 25 miles from a home in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will County to a new home within the state of Illinois;
- More than 50 miles from a home in any other county to a new home within the state of Illinois; or
- More than 25 miles from a home in any Illinois county to a new home outside of the state of Illinois.
Before your child's other parent can relocate, he or she must get your permission to do so. If you do not believe the move is best for your child, you have every right to object. It is important to be sure, however, that you are objecting based on your child's best interests and not just because you are trying to make life difficult for the other parent.
The other parent has the right to continuing pursuing the move despite objection. He or she can petition the court to allow the relocation based on the consideration of all of the relevant circumstances. In a relocation proceeding, the court is statutorily required to take into account a wide range of factors, including educational and financial opportunities, the presence or absence of extended family, and how your child will adapt to the intended move.
The court will also analyze the reasons for your objections and your current participation in the child's life. For example, if you routinely spend three or four days per week with your child and enjoy a very close bond, it is reasonable that a distant relocation would have a substantial impact on your relationship with your child. By contrast, if you only see your child every couple of weeks and have not shown much interest in changing your situation, your credibility in objecting to the relocation may be diminished.
If your child's other parent has asked you to consent to an intended relocation, speak with an experienced DuPage County family law attorney before you make a decision. Call 630-665-7300 to schedule a confidential consultation at MKFM Law today. We can provide the guidance and representation you need to protect your parental rights.