Can I Move Out of State With My Child After an Illinois Divorce?

After your divorce case has been finalized, you might be thinking about moving to a new place in order to take a new job or to get a fresh start. If you have minor children from your marriage and you are co-parenting with your ex through a parenting plan or an allocation judgment, making the decision to move to another state is not so simple. Your parenting plan or allocation judgment likely provides information about how you will share custody based on your current living situation. Thus in order to move out of state, you will likely need to involve the court. Whether or not you will be able to make the move will depend on a number of circumstances.

Does the Planned Move Constitute a “Relocation”?

Moving out of state with your child in most cases will meet the definition of a “relocation” under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). When it comes to moves that are planned to another state, a relocation is defined as moving the child from their current residence to a new one that is outside of the state and also more than 25 miles away. 

If you are planning to move out of state but just over the Illinois border, for example, and the new residence is less than 25 miles away, you may not need to involve the court since the move will not constitute a relocation. Your child custody lawyer can confirm any necessary requirements for your move.

Providing Notice of Relocation to the Other Parent

If the move is a relocation according to the IMDMA, then you will need to provide the other parent with at least 60 days notice, and you will need to include the following information:

  • When you plan to move;
  • Address of your new home if you know it; and
  • Length of time you plan to be gone (if the planned relocation is not permanent).

If the other parent (the parent who is not relocating) agrees to the relocation and signs the notice, and you file the notice properly with the court, then you will be permitted to relocate.

Proving That the Relocation Is in the Child’s Best Interests

If the non-relocating parent will not sign the notice, then you will need to go to court and ask the court to modify your parenting plan or allocation judgment. Since moving to a new state counts as a significant change in circumstances, you can ask the court to modify the plan or judgment with your move in mind. In order to change your existing parenting agreement, you will need to show that the relocation is in your child’s best interests. To determine if the move is in the child’s best interests, the court will consider a variety of factors such as:

  • Circumstances and reasons for the relocation;
  • Why the other parent is objecting to the relocation;
  • Child’s previous relationship with each parent;
  • Child’s educational opportunities in both locations;
  • Extended family at the current and new locations;
  • Anticipated impact on the child;
  • Impact on the allocation judgment and allocation of parental responsibilities;
  • Child’s wishes; and
  • Multiple other relevant factors.

Contact Our Relocation Lawyers in Illinois

If you want to relocate with your child to another state, our Illinois child custody attorneys can assist you. Contact Arami Law, Inc. for more information.

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