Many things change after a couple decides to separate. In some cases, one parent may have been a stay-at-home parent before the divorce, but now they must find a new job. When they land a job, they may need to move to be closer, and they will, of course, want to bring their children.
If it is a short distance, the parents should have no trouble relocating with their children. However, in the Chicago metropolitan area, a parent cannot move over 25 miles within Illinois or out of the state without permission from the other parent and/or the court. In other parts of Illinois, in-state moves of over 50 miles require prior permission.
What Are Some Reasons to Want to Move?
As already stated, a new job may be a reason for the primary parent to move, but it is not the only reason a parent will elect to move. Sometimes, a move is necessary to:
- Be closer to family members;
- Have a better educational future for the children;
- Live in a safer neighborhood; and
- Get away from possible domestic violence.
If a parent suspects the other of hurting or neglecting their children, they can opt to not only move farther away, but also petition to have their allocation of parental responsibilities agreement modified by the court to restrict or stop visits.
What Does a Parent Need to do to Petition for Relocation?
The first step when thinking/planning to relocate is to give a written notice of the plans at least 60 days before the scheduled move. The notice must include the current residential address, the planned move date, and (if known) the new residential address.
The notice will be given to the parenting partner as well as the circuit clerk so that all parties involved are aware of the relocation plans. Then, the other parent can decide if they want to sign the notice and agree to the relocation. If the parent feels that their time with their children will be in jeopardy after the move, they can elect not to sign and the parent looking to move can file a petition to a family court judge.
The judge in charge will look at several factors when deciding whether or not to allow a relocation:
- Best interest of the child;
- Reasons for the relocation;
- Distance of the move;
- Why the other parent would deny the relocation;
- Presence of other family members near the new address; and
- The educational opportunities for the child.
Another thing the judge will do is figure out if they can modify the allocation of parental responsibilities in a way that will be reasonable for both parents. If a new, fair agreement cannot be reached, the judge will deny the relocation. The new agreement is necessary to allow the child to continue to have both parents in his or her life.
Contact a St. Charles, IL Divorce Attorney
After a divorce, there are many things that could make a separation agreement messy. It is best to have a knowledgeable lawyer from Weiler & Lengle help you explore your options regarding a relocation. If necessary, that lawyer can also help you through the litigation process as you seek the outcome you wish. To schedule a free consultation with a Kane County relocation lawyer, call 630-382-8050.