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Relocating when adults share parenting time

On Behalf of | May 22, 2024 | Co-Parenting |

Parents in Illinois who divorce or separate have to work together when they share custody of their children. A parenting plan typically instructs adults to share both parenting time and parental authority. One of the adults may also have financial responsibility in the form of child support.

A custody order is an enforceable court document that parents typically need to uphold. However, in certain circumstances, they could potentially make changes to their existing arrangements. A need to relocate is one of the scenarios that can make a modification of a parenting plan necessary in Illinois.

What are the rules that apply to parental relocations in Illinois?

Many moves may require pre-approval

There is an expectation that parents should try to facilitate a healthy relationship between their children and their other parent. Doing so typically requires maintaining a degree of proximity between the two households.

Under current parenting rules in Illinois, any move that changes the residential address of the children by more than 25 miles may require pre-approval. Moves out of the state also typically require the consent of the other parent or the approval of the courts. The parent proposing the move has to provide both the courts and the other parent with written notice at least 60 days ahead of time.

If the parents can cooperate about the move, a relocation request can lead to an uncontested modification of the parenting arrangements. Otherwise, the parents may need to take the matter back to court. When a judge has to determine if a relocation is appropriate or not, they look at the reason behind the move and what they believe might be in the best interests of the children.

In some cases, the judge might decide that the relocation would potentially be beneficial and grant permission to allow the move. Other times, they could make other modifications to the custody order such as granting the non-moving parent a substantially larger portion of parenting time.

Cooperating in an attempt to modify parenting arrangements can lead to more predictable results than litigating. Those who understand what rules apply to parenting matters in Illinois are in a better position to advocate for their relationship with their children effectively.


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