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Wheaton family law attorneysSharing 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.

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DuPage County family law attorneysToday’s world is, in many ways, more connected than ever before. Thanks to the rise of digital and online technology, it has never been easier to look for new employment or educational opportunities that may exist far from your current home. For some people, it is also relatively easy to pick up and move to a new city or state in search of a better life, but this is not the case for everyone. If you are divorced, separated, or unmarried and you and your child’s other parent share parental responsibilities, moving to a new area can be rather complicated.

How Far Is Too Far?

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides that any move that qualifies as a “relocation” must be approved by the court in advance. A relocation is any move by a parent with half or more of the parenting time with the child that exceeds a certain radius from the current home. If you currently live in Kane County—or Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, or Will County—an in-state move of more than 25 miles is a relocation. If you currently live in any other county, a relocation is any in-state move of over 50 miles. Finally, if you live anywhere in Illinois and move more than 25 miles to a new out-of-state home, the move is considered a relocation.

Why Is Approval Needed?

The law requires you to obtain the court’s permission for a relocation to ensure that the rights of your child’s other parent are not being unduly compromised. The other parent—in most cases—has the right to reasonable parenting time with your child and the new geographical distance can present major challenges. Obtaining the court’s approval can be relatively easy if the other parent does not object to your proposed relocation. If you are able to negotiate a new parenting time plan that allows for a continued relationship between the other parent and your child, the move will likely be allowed to proceed. If the other parent does not agree and you still wish to pursue the relocation, you will need to convince the court that the move serves your child’s best interests.

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Wheaton family law attorneysWhen 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:

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree