New Guidelines Regarding Relocation with Your Child

relocation, parental relocation, Rolling Meadows family law attorneyAs the primary residential parent, you have taken on a great deal of responsibility for the well-being of your child. In an ideal world, the other parent would remain cooperative in your joint efforts in raising the child, or, at the very least, stay current on child support and exercise visitation rights. Reality, however, is not always ideal, and, in some cases, the best option for you and your child may lie in pursuing opportunities out of town or, sometimes, out of state. If you are already considering such a move, it is important to be aware of changes to parental relocation laws that are set to take effect in January, as the new provisions could greatly impact your necessary steps.

Current Laws Affect Out-Of-State Moves

Existing provisions in Illinois law require you to seek the other parent’s consent if you wish move with your child to a new home outside of the state. Once you have obtained permission, you will need to notify the court overseeing your custody order. If the other parent will not allow the move, you may seek the court’s override, but you will be required to prove that the move is in the best interest of the child and that you are acting in good faith.

On the other hand, there is nothing in the current law explicitly preventing you from moving within the borders of the state. Although far from the largest state, Illinois encompasses a fairly substantial geographic area. A drive from the northeast corner near Chicago to the southwest corner near Belleville would take more than four hours without traffic, covering about 300 miles, all within the state. While such a move may have an impact on your custody or visitation agreement, it would be perfectly legal by the letter of the law.

New Relocation Standards

Thanks to a major family law overhaul signed by the governor in July, parental relocation laws will have a new look come January. Actual distance will take precedence over state borders, as the new law works with surrounding states to establish more equitable guidelines. Under the new law, you and your child will be permitted to move up to 25 miles from your current residence without consent or court approval, including into a neighboring state. If you choose to move into another state under these provisions, Illinois will retain responsibility for your custody order.

If you currently live outside of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will County, however, you will be permitted to move with your child up to 50 miles to a new residence in Illinois. An out-of-state move is still limited to 25 miles. Regardless of your current residential county, any move that exceeds these limits will require permission or court approval similar to the requirements currently in place.

The decision to move is rarely an easy one and is often even more complicated for parents. If you are considering pursuing opportunities elsewhere and are unsure about your move’s impact on your custody order, contact an experienced Arlington Heights family law attorney. At the Cosley Law Office, -we can help understand the law and will work with you in finding creative, responsible solutions to your legal concerns. Schedule your free consultation today by calling 847-253-3100.

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