At the beginning of this year, major updates to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act came into effect, and changed the way various issues regarding divorce, child custody, visitation, and other significant issues are handled in Illinois family cases. One such major change is in when parents seeking to relocate with their children should seek permission from an Illinois court before making the move.
Previously, a parent could relocate or move anywhere within the state without seeking permission from the court, however, the parent was generally restricted from relocating to an out of state location without judicial permission. Therefore, if a parent was moving across the state with his or her child, he or she could arguably have done so making it very difficult for the other parent to challenge the move. If, however, the parent wanted to move a short distance across the border to a neighboring state, he or she had to go to court first and get permission.
The amended law offers a different take on the relocation issue by relying on distance as the deciding factor for when a parent needs to seek judicial permission for a move. Under updated terms of the law, if a parent is moving more than 25 miles from a location in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will Counties, or more than 50 miles from any other county within the state, this is considered a relocation that requires permission from the court. If the move is more than 25 miles to a new home outside the state, the move is also considered a relocation requiring the court’s permission.
Considerations of the Court
In order to obtain the necessary permission, the parent seeking to relocate must provide notice to the other parent, and also file a notice with the clerk of the circuit court. The notice required must be given at least 60 days prior to the move, unless this is not possible, in which case the court can make an accommodation. If the parent receiving notice does not wish to contest the move, he or she may sign the provided notice, and it is then filed with the clerk. However, if the parent chooses to contest the move, then the relocating parent must file a petition asking the court to make the ultimate decision on whether or not the move is in the best interest of the child, and should therefore proceed despite the other parent’s objection.
Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney
If you are going through a divorce or want to work out a parenting agreement with the other parent, you need an experienced family law attorney to guide you through the process and the recent changes to Illinois law that may affect your case. Contact our dedicated and experienced DuPage County family law lawyers at our law firm today for a consultation on your case and to learn how we can be of assistance.