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Moving Out of State and Modifying a Custody Agreement

Posted on in Child Custody

DuPage County family law attorneys, modifying a custody agreementAfter a couple has separated and decided upon parenting and custody agreements, it is possible that the custodial parent may want to move out of state. The parent seeking to move out of state will need to follow a process before relocating with his or her child or children. Illinois has set up a specific statute that lays out the process for a parent seeking to move out of state with a child.

Filing a Out of State Removal Petition

In Illinois, a parent seeing to temporarily or permanently move a child out of state must ask the court for permission before doing so. The court will consider the best interests of the child and make a decision about permitting the parent to move out of state with the child. 

A parent must file a petition to seek out-of-state removal with the court. This should be done before the parent relocates with the child. If not, the custodial parent may be in violation of the custodial agreement and may be subject to criminal sanctions. The court will review the petition and will determine whether moving out of state is appropriate. The court will consider many factors; key factors the court will consider include:

  • Will the move improve the quality of life for the child and custodial parent?
  • What effect will the move have on the non-custodial visitation?
  • What are the custodial parent’s motives for moving the child?
  • What is the current visitation arrangement?
  • Will the court be able to establish a reasonable visitation schedule after the move?

A custodial parent who fears that his or her former spouse will move their child out of state without permission has options. You may work with your family law attorney and request a temporary custody order. Alternatively, if you are concerned the non-custodial parent will move the child out of state, you may ask a judge to issue an order that only allows supervised visitation.

What if My Spouse if a Citizen of Another Country

If the custodial parent is a citizen of another country, you may ask the judge to hold the child’s passport by filing a restraining order. If the child does not have a passport yet, but you believe it is possible the custodial parent will apply for a passport and then move the child out of the country, you can sign up with the State Department’s Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program. The program is designed to prevent international parental child abduction. 

Contact an Attorney for Help

There are legitimate reasons for moving a child out of state. However, a court must provide approval for the move and ensure it is in the best interests of the child. If you need to move out of state with your child, then it is important that you speak with an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. The family law attorneys at our firm understand the process for conducting a removal petition and will help guide you through the process.


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