There are many reasons why a primary residential parent or parent with equal parenting time would want to relocate to another state. For instance, a parent may want to move to the state where their extended family is to allow their child to build stronger relationships with their relatives. Sometimes, the reason to move is strictly financial or for a job offer the parent just could not refuse. In any case, before a parent makes the decision to move, they must make sure that they follow Illinois Relocation law.
Generally, parents who do not have most of the parenting time or do not have shared parenting time can move anywhere without court approval or permission from the other parent. Parents moving their child a short distance (fewer than 50 miles from their current residence, fewer than 25 miles from their current residence for certain Illinois counties (e.g. Cook, Dupage), or fewer than 25 miles from their current residence to an out-of-state residence, typically do not need to worry about Illinois Relocation Law, but they will need to make sure they are acting in accordance with their parenting plan.
However, things are a little different for parents with shared child custody and parents who have their child a majority of the time who want to move a further distance away. Under 750 ILCS 5/609.2(b), the parent planning to relocate must give the other parent a 60-day notice including information about the move (date of move, address, etc.), and file the notice with the court. If the other parent is okay with the move, they will sign the notice and both parents will work out a new parenting plan for the court to approve. If the other parent is against the move, or if the parents cannot agree on a new parenting plan, the relocating parent must seek the court’s approval. The court will review the parent’s reasons for wanting to relocate, the relationship between the child and each of his or her parents, and various other factors before making a final decision on whether the relocation is in the child’s best interests.
If you are thinking about relocating with your child, a family law attorney can answer any questions you have and assist you with the process.