What Can I Do If My Ex Has Left the State with Our Child?

Posted on in Child Custody

IL family lawLife after divorce presents a unique set of challenges. Sharing parenting time with an ex-spouse can be very challenging, especially if that spouse refuses to follow the terms of the court-approved parenting agreement.

Illinois always considers the best interests of children when approving or making decisions about parenting agreements, and decades of research supports the idea that children do best when both parents can be involved in their lives. Illinois law, therefore, prohibits parents who share parenting time from moving children a long distance away without obtaining the consent of the other parent. It is important to understand Illinois child relocation laws and what your options are if your ex violates them.

When Can a Divorced Parent Move a Child Out of Illinois?

A parent who wishes to relocate and take their child with them must meet a few requirements. If the parent lives in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Will, or McHenry County, they may move within 25 miles of their current residence without obtaining permission; for any other county, the distance is 50 miles. If a parent wishes to move to a different state that shares a border with Illinois, they can do so without permission only if they remain 25 miles or less from their previous home.

Any other move requires the relocating parent to notify the other parent and to obtain approval from the court. When notifying the other parent, the relocating parent must do so at least 60 days before the move and include the intended moving date, the new address, and how long they plan on staying at this address (if not permanently).

If the other parent consents, he or she must sign the notice and the relocating parent will inform the court. If the other parent does not consent, the relocating parent must petition the court for permission to move the child. The court will consider the reasons for the move, how the move would impact the child, and how the move would change the child’s relationship with the non-relocating parent.

What if My Ex Moves Our Child Out of State Without My Consent?

Sometimes the relocating parent chooses to move without obtaining consent from the court or the child's other parent, or may take the child on a vacation during their legitimate parenting time but refuse to return the child when the vacation is over. This is illegal and carries serious penalties. The courts can hold the violating parent in contempt of court and require them to come into compliance with the parenting agreement or be jailed. Illegally moving the child out of state can also give the courts reason to restrict or terminate the relocating parent’s parenting time altogether.

Meet with a Wheaton, IL Child Custody Lawyer

At Andrew Cores Family Law Group, we know how frightening it can be when your child is removed from the state without your consent. We will work hard to help you exercise your parental rights and ensure your parenting agreement is enforced. Contact our offices today to schedule your initial consultation with an experienced DuPage County child relocation attorney. Call us at 630-871-1002.





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