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Can I Relocate With My Children After My Illinois Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Elburn parental relocation attorney

It is common for recently divorced individuals to want to start over in a new location. Living in the home that you built with your former spouse can make it difficult to escape your old life and move on to a new chapter. Relocating may finally seem obtainable now that you are free from your marriage, but unfortunately, if you have children, you are never fully independent of your former spouse. With parenting agreements that outline how much you will receive in child support, when each parent will spend time with the kids, and who has the most parenting responsibilities, it can seem difficult to get the space you desired when you filed for divorce. Moving away with your kids may appear to be the solution to a fresh start, but restrictions on relocation may keep you from doing so.

What Is Considered Relocation?

Moving from one house to another does not necessarily classify as relocation. Illinois law outlines how far is “too far” and provides information about how to gain permission to relocate, even if your children’s other parent is not on board. According to Illinois legislation, those who live in DuPage, Cook, Kane, Will, Lake, or McHenry counties and move their children 25 miles from their previous residence are considered to be “relocating.” If you do not live in one of these counties, you have a 50-mile radius to stay within in order to avoid needing permission to move. For those looking to move outside of Illinois, anything further than 25 miles from their previous residence is considered relocating.

If you are intending on relocating and need to earn permission to do so, you should first ask your children’s other parent for permission through a relocation notice. The notice must include the intended date of relocation, the location to which you will be moving, and the intended length of stay if it is not permanent. If your co-parent signs the notice, thus granting you permission to move, the petition no longer requires court approval. However, if your spouse is not so open to the idea, you will have to go back to court to hash out the details.

What Will the Courts Examine?

Courts typically lean toward keeping both parents in children’s lives. Since relocating may keep one parent from fostering a relationship with their kids, there are a number of factors that the court will consider before granting the custodial parent with permission to relocate, including the following:

  • The strength and significance of the children’s relationship with their non-custodial parent

  • The other forms of disruption that relocating may cause in the children’s lives

  • The intention and attitude of the parent who is requesting to relocate 

  • How relocating will affect the children’s educational, social, and physical development

  • The age and needs of the children

Call a Geneva, IL Divorce Lawyer

Most relocation requests are submitted in the best interests of the children and the custodial parent. Not being allowed to move can keep emotional wounds from healing and ultimately make it difficult to be there for your kids. Since the purpose of parenting agreements and the court’s involvement in divorce proceedings is to be sure that your children’s best interests are at heart, it is important to find an experienced legal team to assist you. Emily Rapp at McSwain Nagle Giese & Rapp, P.C. understands that starting over may be what is best for your kids. Our mission is to assist families with their legal proceedings so that they can focus on their children and themselves. If you would like to relocate and need help to do so, contact our skilled Kane County parental relocation attorneys at 630-402-0185 to schedule your free consultation.




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