Can the Other Parent Take My Child Out of State Without My Permission?


Holidays and school breaks are routinely times of the year when custody disputes are brought before the court by divorced parents. One commonly-litigated issue during this time of year is the right of one parent to take the couple’s children out of state to see that parent’s family and extended family. If you have physical custody of the child, either because the child resides primarily with you or because you are exercising your visitation time, you might be wondering if the other parent may deny you the right to leave Illinois with your child.

Plan Ahead With a Well-Drafted Parenting Plan

Most of these disputes can be avoided if this important question was addressed in your parenting plan. If you anticipate this issue coming up at the time the court creates the parenting plan, ask the court to address this issue in its orders. The court may either specifically grant or deny both parents permission to take the child out of the state for any reason, or the court may indicate how it wishes for you and the other parent to handle the situation when it comes up. By planning ahead and asking the court to address the matter early, you can avoid later confusion and contention with your former partner.

What if My Parenting Plan Does Not Address This Issue?

Generally speaking, without specific language in a court order and assuming you and the other parent share legal custody of the child, you are able to travel out of state with the child for brief periods of time. As a matter of courtesy, you should discuss these trips in advance with the other parent and inform him or her of the trip’s destination, duration, and phone numbers where you can be reached in the event of an emergency. In most cases, advance notice and common courtesy can prevent disputes from arising.

What if the Other Parent Says I May Not Leave the State?

If the other parent adamantly refuses to agree to let you leave Illinois for a trip with your child, you may need to seek the intervention of the court. The earlier you have this discussion with the other parent, the more time you have to get the court involved in resolving the dispute. If you are ever in doubt about whether you may leave the state with the child for a trip without the other parent’s consent, it is highly advisable that you seek the advice and counsel of a Chicago child custody attorney.

Work With an Illinois Child Custody Attorney

At Arami Law, we pride ourselves on helping our Illinois clients navigate the often-confusing maze that is child custody laws so they can focus their energy on raising their children. If you have questions about your custody orders, parenting plan, or rights as a parent, contact our team of child custody attorneys right away at (312) 584-6355.

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