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Relocating with your child? Why you may need the court’s approval

On Behalf of | Aug 10, 2023 | Child Custody |

Moving to a new place when you have a child and a custody arrangement can be a complex process. Whether you’re looking for fresh prospects, a job opportunity, or family reasons, it’s essential to understand why obtaining court approval might be necessary if you are considering moving with your child.

A relocation can disrupt the court-ordered parenting time and limit the non-custodial parent’s access to the child. The court’s approval process ensures both parents have a say in the decision, safeguarding each parent’s right to maintain a meaningful relationship with their child.

Illinois relocation laws explained

Court approval is required if you intend to relocate more than 25 miles from your original primary residence or cross state lines. The process begins with providing written notice to your co-parent 60 days before the relocation. The notice should include sufficient information about the move, such as your intended new address and the time the relocation will last. 

No further action will be required if your co-parent agrees to the move and signs the notice. However, if they object to your relocation, it will set the path for a court process, where a judge will decide the way forward in the child’s best interests.

The court process

During relocation hearings, the court will look into various factors when determining whether to deny or approve the move. They include:

  • The reasons and circumstances for the intended relocation
  • Your co-parent’s reasons for objecting
  • The parental abilities of each parent and their relationship with the child
  • The child’s education opportunities
  • The child’s wishes, among others

These and other factors will influence the judge’s decision. In addition, the court may modify the parenting plan to reflect the current situation.

If you are considering a move with your child under a joint custody arrangement, having the necessary legal guidance can help you protect your parental rights, navigate the process smoothly and achieve a desirable outcome.