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What is the Difference Between Moving and Relocating With Children?

Posted on in Family Law

St. Charles Family Law AttorneyMoving can be a hassle for anyone. For divorced parents seeking to relocate with children, moving can be an even bigger challenge. It is not as simple as packing up and heading for your new home. Depending on where you live now and where you plan on moving to, you may need to get consent from the other parent or the court - which could mean a hearing. 

If you are divorced and planning to relocate with your children, you should consult a qualified family law attorney first. Especially if a hearing is required, being represented by knowledgeable legal counsel can help the process move smoothly. 

What Do “Moving” and “Relocating” Mean?

Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, they do not mean the same thing in the context of Illinois family law. Depending on which county the child’s current home is in, you are only “relocating” if you are moving more than 25 or 50 miles from that location. Otherwise, you are “moving.” If you have more parenting time and an existing agreement, you do not need permission from the court or the other parent to move with the child. 

If you are relocating, however, then you will need consent. If the other parent willingly agrees, all you will have to do is file a notice with the court. You do not need to appear before a judge. However, if the other parent objects, then a hearing will be required. 

What Happens at a Relocation Hearing? 

The judge will try to determine whether the proposed relocation is in the child’s best interest. In doing so, the judge will consider a number of factors, including: 

  • Parental relationships - The court will consider what kind of relationship the child has with each parent and how the physical distance would affect that relationship.

  • Child’s wishes - Judges may be reluctant to force a move that would be upsetting to the child, or more likely to grant a move the child is excited for. 

  • Education - How the move would impact the child’s education is an important factor. Whether a change in schools or school districts would positively or negatively impact the child will be considered. 

  • Extended family - Courts may be more likely to approve a relocation if a parent plans to go live near extended relatives who would form a secondary support system for the child. 

The court will also consider the practical effects a relocation would have on the current parenting arrangements, as well as any other reasons for the proposed relocation. 

Call a Kane County Attorney for Relocation with Children

If you are planning to relocate with your children, Emily Rapp at McSwain Nagle Giese & Rapp, P.C. can help. Our Geneva family law attorneys are experienced in representing divorced parents during relocation hearings. Call our law office at  630-402-0185 to arrange a free consultation. 



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