PARENTAL RELOCATION… THE DO’S & DON’TS
You are a parent raising young kids in the state of Illinois but you think another state or county within Illinois would benefit your family more. Problem: you share parental allocation or responsibility (formerly custody) with your ex-spouse. In the State of Illinois, just because the child(ren) reside with you, does not mean you get to dictate where they live, especially if it means relocating out of the State of Illinois.
Under the new family law statute of January 1, 2016, ((750 ILCS 5/) Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act ) for parental relocation, if a parent whom the child(ren) resides with majority of the time wishes to relocate, whether it is somewhere else in the state of Illinois or another state altogether, they must give the other parent 60 days written notice (unless impracticable then it must be given at the most earliest date possible) of where they plan to move. Notice is required if you fall under three categories:
- Moving more than 25 miles from the child’s current home, if the child lives in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will County;
- Moving more than 50 miles from the child’s current home, if the child lives in any other county in Illinois;
- Moving out of state to a new residence that is located more than 25 miles from the child’s current home.
In this notice, the parent must include the follow:
1) Exact date that they plan to move
2) The new address
3) The length of time if the move isn’t permanent
If the other parent is agreeable with the move, then your job is just about done. You simply draft an agreement and have the other parent sign off on it and then you file the agreement with the court. If the other parent is opposed to the move, you must get permission from the courts to relocate by filing a petition. The court will usually considers the reason for the move – such as better opportunity for the child(ren) and the effect on parenting time for the other parent.
Most times, parents aren’t as far apart in their wishes. Be ready to compromise and offer reasonable parenting plan for the other parent’s parenting time to not be too affected. The courts would much rather you work out an agreement than to make a decision that may not work for either you or the other parent. The factors the court will consider are outlined below directly from an excerpt of the statute:
(750 ILCS 5/609.2)
Sec. 609.2. Parent’s relocation.
(g) The court shall modify the parenting plan or allocation judgment in accordance with the child’s best interests. The court shall consider the following factors:
(1) the circumstances and reasons for the intended relocation;
(2) the reasons, if any, why a parent is objecting to the intended relocation;
(3) the history and quality of each parent’s relationship with the child and specifically whether a parent has substantially failed or refused to exercise the parental responsibilities allocated to him or her under the parenting plan or allocation judgment;
(4) the educational opportunities for the child at the existing location and at the proposed new location;
(5) the presence or absence of extended family at the existing location and at the proposed new location;
(6) the anticipated impact of the relocation on the child;
(7) whether the court will be able to fashion a reasonable allocation of parental responsibilities between all parents if the relocation occurs;
(8) the wishes of the child, taking into account the child’s maturity and ability to express reasoned and independent preferences as to relocation;
(9) possible arrangements for the exercise of parental responsibilities appropriate to the parents’ resources and circumstances and the developmental level of the child;
(10) minimization of the impairment to a parent-child relationship caused by a parent’s relocation; and
(11) any other relevant factors bearing on the child’s best interests. (h) If a parent moves with the child 25 miles or less from the child’s current primary residence to a new primary residence outside Illinois, Illinois continues to be the home state of the child under subsection (c) of Section 202 of the Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. Any subsequent move from the new primary residence outside Illinois greater than 25 miles from the child’s original primary residence in Illinois must be in compliance with the provisions of this Section. http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000
So quick recap:
- DO give the other parent notice
- DON’T give notice after moving
- DO put notice in writing with required details
- DON’T withhold your new address
- DO encourage parenting time between the other parent & minor(s)
- DON’T move in bad faith or place minor(s) in a worse off position than they will be in if they stay where they currently reside.
If you are planning on relocating and the other parent is not willing to sign off on the move and you are located in Cook, Lake, Will, Kane, and Du Page counties, call our offices and schedule an appointment at 312-893-5888.