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In Illinois, the parent with the majority of parenting time or parents with equal (50/50) parenting time must be very careful to follow certain procedures before moving with a child. It used to be that Illinois law permitted a parent to move anywhere within the State of Illinois. However, that has changed with the passage of a new law, which went into effect in 2016. 

A move that is a relatively short distance away is not usually problematic under the current law; however, a move beyond a certain distance requires the parent to follow a specific procedure. 

Under Illinois law, a parent is considered to be “relocating” a child if the move is:

  • More than 25 miles from the child’s current primary residence in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, or Will Counties; 
  • More than 50 miles from the child’s current primary residence in any other Illinois county; or
  • To a residence in another state that is more than 25 miles from the child’s current primary residence. 

The relocating parent must give the other parent at least 60 days’ notice, although shorter notice may be allowed if 60 days is impractical. A copy of the notice must also be filed with the court. The notice must include:

  • The moving date,
  • The new address (if known),
  • Whether the relocation will be permanent or temporary and, if temporary, it’s expected duration.

If the non-relocating parent agrees to the relocation, then they can sign the notice, and the parties can cooperate to enter a revised parenting plan with the court. If they do not agree, then the parent must file a proper petition, seeking the court’s permission to relocate. The court will consider the “best interest” of the child when determining whether to allow or deny the relocation.  Some of the factors include, but are not limited to:

  1. the circumstances and reasons for the relocation;
  2. the reasoning underlying the non-relocating parent’s objection;
  3. the “history and quality” of each parent’s relationship with the child;
  4. school comparisons;
  5. where extended family lives;
  6. whether the parental responsibilities and parenting time can be reallocated reasonably;
  7. the child’s wishes;
  8. The impact on the child’s relationship with the non-relocating parent.

750 ILCS 5/609.2

Many of these factors can be difficult to present to the judge without following the proper rules of evidence, so it is important to work with an attorney to ensure your arguments are considered by the judge. The experienced attorneys at SLG Family Law can help you through this process, so contact us today for a free consultation.

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