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Can I move out-of-state with my child after a divorce?

| Jun 24, 2020 | Child Custody, Divorce |

People’s lives change. A child custody agreement you may have entered into at the time of your divorce may no longer suit your current situation.

Generally, if you have custody of your child, you may move out of Illinois. However, you can’t just pack up and go. You will have to take certain steps to get approval for a relocation.

Parental approval

The easiest way for a custodial parent to move out-of-state is to get approval from the other parent. Under Illinois law, you are required to provide the other parent of your child with written notification of your plan to move. You should give the notice at least 60 days before you intend to move.

If the other parent agrees to your plan, have them sign the notice. You will then file the notice with the court. As long as the move is in your child’s best interests, the court will modify your child custody order.

Court approval

Of course, things do not always go so smoothly. If the other parent objects or doesn’t sign your notice, you will have to go to court with a petition to relocate. The court will again look at what is in the best interests of the child. Some factors that the court will typically consider include:

  • The reason why you’re seeking to move
  • Why the other parent is objecting to the move
  • The relationship between each parent and the child
  • Time and expense of visitation for the other parent
  • The child’s wishes, depending on the child’s age and maturity level

It’s of the utmost importance that you not move with your child until your custody order has been legally modified. If you jump the gun or fail to follow the required steps, you could lose your custody rights. You even leave yourself open to kidnapping charges if you move without having approval. You should always discuss your options with a skilled professional.