Sharing parental responsibilities and parenting time of a child with another parent can be full of challenges and disagreements. One issue that many parents struggle with is parental relocation. When one parent wants to move a significant distance away, the other parent may be concerned about how this will affect the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. If you or your child’s other parent are planning to move, make sure to familiarize yourself with the laws regulating parental relocations in shared parenting situations. Depending on the distance between the parent’s current residence and the new residence, the relocating parent will likely be required to petition the court for a modification to their divorce decree.
What Counts as a Parental Relocation?
If a parent is moving only a short distance away, the move may not need to be approved by the court. According to Illinois law, a parental relocation is one in which a parent with a greater or equal share of parenting time moves to a new residence and one of the following is true:
- The child’s current residence is in Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, Will County, Kane County, or McHenry County and the new residence is further than 25 miles away.
- The child’s current residence is in any other Illinois County and the new residence is further than 50 miles away.
- The child’s current residence is in any Illinois County and the new residence is further than 25 miles away and is outside of the State of Illinois.
Requirements When a Parent Moves a Significant Distance Away
If the move meets the criteria for a parental relocation, the parent who is intending to move must give the other parent written notice of the move at least 60 days in advance. He or she must inform the other parent of the address of the new residence, the intended moving date, and how long the he or she plans to live at the new residence. If the other parent agrees to the move and the court finds that the move is in the child’s best interests, the court will allow the parents to make the necessary modifications to the divorce decree....