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Wheaton parental relocation attorneysIf you and your former spouse share children who are still under the age of 18, moving to a new location after the divorce can be a complicated issue. While a parent may have legitimate personal reasons for the move, it is also often necessary from a legal perspective to consider whether the move is in the children’s best interests, as well as how it may affect the children’s relationship with their other parent. If you believe that your ex’s relocation will be detrimental to your family, you may have options to contest it in court.

What is Considered a Parental Relocation in Illinois?

One thing to note is that a move to a new location within a short distance is not considered a relocation under Illinois law. While parenting plans will usually stipulate that a parent who moves will need to notify the other parent of the change in address, these moves are less likely to lead to legal complications, and there are fewer options to contest them.

However, some moves do qualify as a relocation, and they require approval through a defined legal process. All of the following meet the legal definition of a relocation in Illinois:

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DuPage County family law attorneysUnless you are granted your marital home as part of the division of property, you will likely need to find a new place to live either during the divorce process or after your divorce is finalized. Moving to a new home is stressful at any point in your life, but along with all the other stress of a divorce, it can be even more overwhelming. However, you can make the transition easier by taking the time to prepare.

Considerations When Moving After Divorce 

Thinking carefully about where you will move and how you will handle the moving process can lead to greater satisfaction with your decision and less stress for you and your family in the future. Some important things to consider include:

  • How much you can afford. If you are moving during the divorce process, it may be best to explore temporary options until you have a better idea of the likely outcome. Once your divorce is finalized, you should determine where your assets, income, and expenses stand to decide how much you can afford to buy or rent, and whether you need to make a plan to save for a home that meets your needs.
  • How the move will affect your children. If you expect to have a significant share of parenting time after your divorce, you should also consider how a new home will meet your children’s needs. Think about the location in relation to their school and their other parent’s home, as well as the space they will need to feel comfortable.
  • Whether you need legal permission. A move within a short distance is usually acceptable from a legal perspective, but if you are allocated parenting time and you plan to relocate a longer distance away from your children’s current home, you will need to obtain permission from the other parent and/or the court. Under Illinois law, this distance is more than 25 miles from a home in Cook, DuPage, and some surrounding counties, more than 50 miles from a home in other Illinois counties, and more than 25 miles to a location outside of Illinois.

A major relocation will also likely require special considerations in your parenting plan to account for transportation between homes and an alternative parenting time schedule. It can also make it more difficult for your children to adjust, so you should be prepared to talk to them about the move, listen to their concerns, and make every effort to maintain a close relationship despite the increased distance.

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