If you are a divorced, separated, or unmarried parent, you probably realize how important it is for your child to maintain a healthy relationship with his or her other parent. There are exceptions, of course, including situations in which the other parent is completely absent, negligent, or, worst of all, abusive. Following your divorce or breakup, you and the other parent most likely managed to come to an agreement regarding your child, granting each of you certain rights and responsibilities. What happens, though, when you decide that you want to move out of the area with your child? Do you have the right to do so? Is it possible to move too far away?
As with most considerations regarding child custody, or the allocation of parental responsibilities as it is now called in Illinois, there are no definitive answers to these questions. Instead, the law provides that parents are expected to act in their child’s best interests, and when there is a dispute regarding what is best for the child, the court may intervene.
When you are looking to move to a new town or out of Illinois altogether with your child, the law places basic limitations on such a move if you share parental responsibilities. The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act specifies that you will need the consent of the other parent or the court for a move that is:
- More than 25 miles to a new home in Illinois from a current home in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will County;
- More than 50 miles to a new home in Illinois from a current home in any other Illinois county; or
- More than 25 miles to a new home outside of Illinois from a current home anywhere within the state.
Consent or Court Approval
The other parent must give his or her permission for such move because his or her parenting time and relationship with your child is likely to be greatly affected by the new distance. You will also be expected to amend your existing parenting plan to include provisions that promote a continued relationship between the child and the other parent.
If the other parent objects to your intended move, you can petition the court to permit the move anyway. You will need to show that the relocation will ultimately serve the child’s best interests overall, despite the distance from the other parent.
For more information about moving with your child, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. We will explain the applicable laws, answer your questions, and provide the representation you need throughout the process. Call 630-904-3033 for a free consultation with Abear Law Offices today.