For some reason, you may want to relocate with the children after a divorce. It could be due to a new job opportunity, remarriage or even a change of environment. However, certain child custody laws might affect your move, and it is prudent to stay ahead of the situation.
For context, relocating does not necessarily mean moving with your children to a different state or country. Changing residence within the state can still be considered relocation if it meets specific criteria under Illinois law. If you share custody of the children, you cannot act alone and move with the children, as explained below.
How the process works in Illinois
Suppose you intend to relocate with the children. In such a case, you must provide written notice to your co-parent and file a copy with the clerk of the circuit court. The law requires at least 60 days’ notice unless it is impractical. In such a case, you must inform your co-parent and the court as early as possible.
The notice should provide details of your move, such as the new address, how long you intend to stay and your travel date. Should there be no opposition from your co-parent on your relocation, then you should be able to move without problems. The court will not be involved unless there are modifications to the custody arrangement that needs to be formalized.
If your co-parent objects to your relocation, you must file a petition seeking the court’s approval or permission for your change of residence. A judge will consider various factors, such as your reasons for relocation, the child’s wishes and best interests before determining whether to approve or reject the move.
Protect your parental rights
Relocation should not cut you off from your children. If you are considering changing residence, it is best to seek guidance on the best approach that will increase your chances of success. Similarly, if you think your co-parent’s move will affect your parental rights, you should take appropriate action before it is too late.