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Relocating a Minor Child After Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County family law lawyers, relocating a minorTypically, the order finalizing your divorce contains the arrangement for the decision-making, parenting time, and other details regarding raising a minor child. However, it may not be so clear what happens if the residential parent seeks to move. The legal requirements of relocation depend on where the child currently lives and the distance of the new address, so you should discuss the specifics of your situation with an experienced DuPage County parental responsibilities attorney.

Whether the child lives with you or the other parent, it is important to understand the process of relocating a minor child after divorce.

Parent’s Duty to Notify 

Under Illinois law, the parent who wants to relocate the child must give written notice of the intent to move to the other parent. This notice, which must also be filed with the court, needs to include the date of relocation, new address, and any other relevant details. The notification must be provided to the non-residential parent at least 60 days before the move.

If the parent consents to the relocation, he or she can sign the notice and file consent with the court. The parties’ parenting plan will be modified to reflect the new residential arrangement.

Note that the duty to notify does not apply if the child’s primary residence is within the counties of Cook, DuPage, Will, Kane, Lake, or McHenry, and the relocation would be less than 25 miles away. The rule applies even if the move will take the child out of the state, so long as the new address is within the 25 mile limit. There is also no notification requirement if the child resides in a county outside of the six listed, if the move is less than 50 miles away from the current residence.

Contested Relocation Proceedings 

If the parent that the child does not live with withholds consent to relocation, then the parent who wants to move the minor must go through the proper procedure to seek permission. He or she initiates the process by filing a petition for relocation with the court, and there will be a hearing to determine the issue.

A judge considers various factors in making a decision on whether the move will be in the best interests of the child, which are set forth in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. For example, the judge will look at:

  • The reasons the petitioning parent is seeking relocation;
  • The reasons the responding parent does not agree to relocation;
  • The history of each parent’s relationship with the child, especially any incident where one exercised questionable judgment with parental responsibilities;
  • The ease and convenience of parenting time by the non-residential parent;
  • Educational opportunities for the child;
  • The wishes of the child, in appropriate circumstances;
  • The impact of the move of the child; and
  • Any other issues that bear on the child’s well-being.

A DuPage County Family Law Lawyer Can Help

Whether a minor child lives with you or the other parent after a divorce, you do have rights and duties under Illinois law regarding relocation of the child. A knowledgeable parental responsibilities attorney can advise you on the relocation proceedings and help you understand how the process works. The experienced DuPage County family law lawyers at Davi Law Group, LLC have represented many clients in child relocation matters after divorce, so please contact us to discuss your questions or concerns.


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