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How Do I Contest the Relocation of My Children After Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Rolling Meadows divorce attorney parental relocationIn an Illinois divorce, child custody and parenting time may be some of the most challenging issues to resolve, as both parents may highly value the time they are able to spend with their children. When one parent wishes to move with the kids a significant distance away, the divorce process can become even more complicated. If your former spouse is attempting to relocate, you should know the options you have if you wish to contest the move.

Legal Implications of a Parental Relocation in Illinois

A parent’s move within a short distance is permitted under Illinois law, and in many cases is unlikely to cause significant issues for the other parent. However, there are circumstances in which a relocation requires special approval, including:

  • When a parent wishes to move more than 25 miles from the children’s current residence in Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, and a few other counties in the Chicago area

  • When a parent wishes to move more than 50 miles from the children’s current residence in any other Illinois county

  • When a parent wishes to move more than 25 miles from the children’s current residence to an out-of-state location

In any of these cases, the moving parent is legally required to notify the other parent in writing at least 60 days in advance whenever possible. If you have received this notice from your former spouse, you may object, in which case he or she will have to make the case for relocation in court. If you become aware that your former spouse is intending to relocate and you have not been notified, your attorney can help you bring this to the court’s attention.

Other Options for Contesting a Relocation

If you object and the decision goes before the court, the judge will consider whether the relocation is in your children’s best interests. Your best chance of stopping the relocation is to make the case that the move does not support their well-being. Possible reasons may include:

  • The potential for the move to damage your children’s relationship with you

  • The difficulty in creating a parenting plan that adequately accounts for the relocation

  • The negative impacts of the move on your children’s routine and connection to their current residence

  • The lack of educational opportunities, extended family, or other sources of support at the new location

Contact a Rolling Meadows Family Law Attorney

Challenging a parent’s relocation after divorce can be difficult, but when you feel strongly that it is the right thing to do, the Cosley Law Office can help. We strive to protect your children’s best interests and help you maintain your relationship with them moving forward. Call our compassionate and knowledgeable Arlington Heights divorce lawyer today at 847-253-3100 to request a free consultation.


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