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Things you should know about parent relocation in Illinois

To maintain the parent-child relationship, many separating parents create a parenting plan. This plan specifies each parent’s responsibilities and schedules with the child. One common schedule is where the nonprimary parent visits the child during weekends. This kind of schedule is especially viable if both parents live relatively near each other.

But what will happen to the parenting time if one of the parents has to move to another state or country?

Is the court’s approval necessary?

Generally, the court cannot stop a parent from relocating. Courts acknowledge that substantial changes in a parent’s life would force them to move homes, such as a new job. However, the moving parent must follow the requirements set by law before relocating, which include giving proper written notice and filing a copy with the court.

The moving parent must provide notice

Illinois custody laws require a relocating parent to notify the other parent and other interested individuals with visitation schedules at least 60 days before the move. But this rule is not absolute. In situations wherein a 60-day notice is not feasible, the law allows the moving parent to provide notice on the earliest possible day.

Additionally, the notice must include the moving date and the new home’s address, unless there is a history of domestic violence. In this case, the court may waive or seal the details.

What if the other parent objects?

The moving parent must file a petition to request the court’s approval of the relocation if the other parent objects to the move or the modification of the parenting plan. In this case, the court will consider relevant factors and decide according to what is best for the child’s interests.

Relocation is a major change in the lives of parents and their children. Understanding the rules on parent relocation can help parents address possible issues and develop the best plan which aligns with their child’s well-being.

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