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Can you move with your children after an Illinois divorce?

 Posted on October 26, 2022 in Divorce

The neighborhood where you lived during your marriage may not be where you want to remain after your divorce. Maybe you can't afford the local property prices without two incomes, or perhaps you simply have too many memories that are painful for you. Other people have job opportunities that they want to take advantage of or family members in other states.

As a parent who shares their parental rights and responsibilities with your ex, there are certain limitations on what you can do. For example, if you hope to move to the opposite side of Illinois or even leave the state, you may find that your parenting plan or state law prevents you from doing so unless you follow the right steps.

What are the rules for parental relocations in Illinois?

When you share parental rights and responsibilities, both you and your ex have an interest in living close to the children and being with them frequently. It is common for couples to impose limitations on travel or post-court relocations in their parenting plans.

Frequently, people will agree to court oversight or a requirement of approval from their ex if they intend to move more than 100 miles away or leave the state. You will have to provide written notice to the other parent and the Illinois family courts when requesting to relocate.

If the other parent agrees that the move is the best option, then you will move forward with a simple uncontested relocation hearing that can modify your parenting plan. If your ex does not want you to move because they fear it will affect their relationship with your children, you may have to go to court.

A judge will hear both sides of the case and then make a decision about what would be best for the children. If you have to litigate a relocation, it is crucial that you present the case properly, including making the focus on what your children need rather than what you want.

Move-away requests can be among the most contentious changes to parenting plans. Your ex may take your request personally and feel like your goal is to affect their relationship with the children even if what you want is a new job. Learning more about relocations and other parenting issues will help you take the necessary steps to protect your rights as a parent.

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