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Am I Allowed to Move With My Child After My Divorce is Finalized?

Many people who get divorced in Cook County want to get a fresh start once their divorce is finalized. For anyone who has recently gotten divorced and did not have minor children from the marriage, there is no reason to avoid looking for jobs in a new place and moving into a new home or apartment in a new city or even in a new state. However, the prospect of moving and getting a fresh start after a divorce becomes much more complicated when you have minor children from the marriage.

If you want to move with your child once you are officially divorced, you will need to determine first whether the move would constitute a “relocation” under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). If not, you can move without seeking approval from the court or even from the child’s other parent. However, if the move would constitute a “relocation,” then you will first need to determine whether the child’s other parent agrees. If the other parent does not agree or consent to the move, then you will need to seek permission from the court.

Does Your Planned Move Qualify as a Relocation?

When a move qualifies as or constitutes a relocation under Illinois law, a parent cannot simply move with the child without seeking permission from the other parent and/or the court. Does your planned move qualify as a relocation? Relocation is defined as one of the following under the IMDMA:

  • Moving more than 25 miles from the current residence when the current residence is located in Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, McHenry County, or Will County;
  • Moving to a new residence that is more than 50 miles away from the child’s current residence that is not located in one of the counties listed above but is still within Illinois; or
  • Moving to a new residence that is more than 25 miles from the child’s current residence and is outside the state of Illinois.

Does your planned move fit into one of those categories listed above? If not, you do not need to deal with “relocation,” and you are likely permitted to move without seeking approval from the other parent or from the court. However, you should check with your Chicago child custody attorney to be sure. If your planned move does fit into one of the categories described above, then you will need to seek permission or consent for the move. 

Seeking Consent for a Relocation 

The first step in relocating is seeing if the other parent consents to the move. In order for your relocation to be permitted under Illinois law, you will need to follow specific notice requirements for notifying the other parent of your plans for relocation, along with specific details about the move. If the other parent consents and you follow all requirements under the IMDMA, the court can approve the relocation. 

However, if the other parent does not consent, you will need to petition the court in order to relocate. The court will return to the “best interests of the child” standard to decide whether the move in the child’s best interests.

Contact a Child Custody Lawyer in Cook County

Deciding to move with your child can be complicated, especially when the move involves relocation. A Cook County child custody attorney can assist you. Contact Arami Law, Inc. to speak with an advocate.

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