What rules apply if I need to move with my children?
Like other states, Illinois has laws in place that govern under what terms a single parent who is the primary caregiver of his or her children can move his or her family. These rules are in place to make sure the other parent gets treated fairly, as a move could affect that other’s parent’s parenting time with the children, as well as his or her overall relationship with them.
Under Illinois law, and in Lake County in particular, if a parent wants to move more than 25 miles from his or her current residence, then he or she will have to send an appropriate notice both to the other parent and to the proper court for filing. In other parts of Illinois, a parent may be able to move 50 miles from his or her current residence without this state law applying. It is important to note that this notice, required under state law, is in addition to any court order that might also require a parent to let the other parent know about a move.
Under the state law, once the other parent gets the required notice, which generally should be given at least 60 days in advance, then he or she can sign the notice, which signifies the other parent gives consent to the move. The parent wanting to move can then file the signed notice, along with any agreements the couple came to regarding any adjustments to parenting time as a result of the move.
If the other parent does not sign the notice, then the parent wanting to move must file a formal request to do so in the proper family law court. The court will automatically consider the move to be a change significant enough to review the custody and parenting time arrangement, but each parent will have the ability to make their arguments about why the parent wanting to move with the children should or should not be allowed to do so. If the judge allows the move, he or she also has the option of changing the custody arrangement to account for it.
Particularly when the other parent contests a decision to move, it is important that a parent who needs to relocate with his or her children, such as for a job or other opportunity, get the help of an experienced family law attorney, as these sort of issues can be both complicated and stressful.