Your child custody agreement was probably created when tensions were high and your divorce was imminent. As the dust settles after a divorce, however, your lives will inevitably change. Sometimes those changes mean moving out of the state to get a better job, find happiness with another partner, or simply to start fresh.
But what happens when a parent wishes to move out of the state? How does that affect their current parenting plan and child custody agreement? Does Illinois law even allow custodial parents to move out of state with their children?
Approval Is Needed to Move Out of State
When a custodial parent wishes to move out of the state with their minor children, they must get approval from either the court or from the child’s non-custodial parent. The easiest way to move out of state is for the non-custodial parent to approve of the move.
According to Illinois law (750 ILCS 5/609.2), a parent who has been awarded either the majority of parenting time or equal parenting time may seek to move out of the state with their child. However, before they’re allowed to do this, they must provide the other parent with written notice of their intended relocation.
This written notice must be sent to the other parent at least 60 days prior to the relocation unless there are extenuating circumstances. A copy of this notice should also be sent to the clerk of the circuit court. The notice must include the following:
- Intended date of parent’s relocation
- Address of the parent’s new residence
- Length of time the relocation will last
Once the non-relocating parent signs the notice, the parent wishing to move must file this notice with the Illinois family courts. The courts will then modify the parenting plan in accordance with the terms agreed upon by both parents - as long as the agreed-upon modifications are in the best interests of the child.
Getting Approval from the Illinois Courts
If the non-relocating parent objects to the relocation or fails to sign the notice, the parent seeking to relocate must file a petition with the court seeking permission to relocate. The court will then determine if it is in the best interests of the child to relocate. To do this, the court will consider many factors, including, but not limited to:
- Will moving enhance child and custodial parent’s quality of life
- The reason the custodial parent wishes to move
- The motive for non-custodial parent’s objection
- Could a realistic and reasonable parenting schedule be reached and implemented
- Time and cost involved with the visitation as a result of the move.
- The distance of the move
- History and quality of each parent’s relationship with the child
- Wishes of the child, based on the child’s maturity and ability to express independent preferences
It is important to know that relocating out of state without getting the approval from the courts could result in serious issues, including loss of custodial rights or criminal charges of parental kidnapping.
A Family Law Attorney Can Help
There are times when a move out of the state is an important stepping stone to a better life. Being able to take a new job, enhance your career, or rebuild your life is difficult when you’re divorced and sharing parenting time. While relocating with your children isn’t easy, it is not impossible with the help of an experienced Illinois family law attorney.
Your lawyer can help protect your parenting rights every step of the way and ensure that you do not miss any deadlines for filing forms or petitions. The right family lawyer for your case should have extensive knowledge of Illinois family law, to ensure that your relocation is done legally. After all, failure to follow Illinois law when relocating your family could result in serious penalties and consequences.
Contact Our Barrington Child Custody Attorneys
If you are considering a move out of the state, it is important to know how that move could affect your existing parenting agreement. Without a Barrington child custody attorney on your side, you may find that your parenting time is significantly altered.
Whether you’re seeking to relocate with your children or without, it is important to know your legal rights. Call Manassa Hartman, P.C. at (866) 390-0672 or fill out our confidential contact form for a free consultation with one of our experienced and compassionateBarrington child custody lawyers. We are proud to serve clients at both our Crystal Lake and Barrington offices. Call today!