Will the court modify your parenting plan due to relocation?

Big changes happen in life, and for a divorced parent, one such change is an employment opportunity that requires relocation.

If you wish to move to another city with your child, will the court approve the necessary modification to your parenting plan?

First steps

Under Illinois law, you must first inform the other parent of your plans by providing a written notice at least 60 days prior to the proposed moving date. You must also file a copy of the notice with the clerk of the circuit court. In addition to stating the intended date of the move, you must include the address of your new residence, if you know it, and the length of time you expect the relocation to last unless this move for a new job will be permanent.

Response to the notice

If the other parent signs the notice and files it with the court, the court will require nothing further and will modify your parenting plan accordingly. However, if the nonrelocating parent objects to your plans, or if the two of you cannot come to an agreement on modifying your parenting plan, you must petition the court for permission to move.

The view of the court

In the event you must seek permission to relocate with your child, the court will base its decision on several factors:

  • Your reasons for relocation as well as the objections of the other parent
  • The quality of the relationship you and the other parent have with the child
  • The impact of relocation on your child
  • Educational opportunities for your child at the new location
  • Arrangements for you and the other parent to continue your parental responsibilities
  • The wishes of your child

The effects of distance

Illinois will continue to be the home state of your child if your intended move is to an area outside the state that is 25 miles or less from his or her current residence. The distance will play a role in the continuation of a workable parenting plan. The best interests of the child are always top priority, and the court will take distance into consideration when it determines whether to grant your request for relocation and subsequent parenting plan modification.

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