Can you move with the children after your Illinois divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2021 | Divorce |

Not everyone stays in the same community after a divorce. Maybe you moved to the neighborhood where you lived during your marriage because of your ex’s job or their family.

Now that you have divorced, you want to move to a place where you have social connections or where you have better employment opportunities. Perhaps the schools for your children also influence where you want to live after the divorce.

If you share parental responsibilities with your ex, what will that mean for your right to move with the children after the divorce?

Illinois state law limits your right to relocate

When parents in Illinois share parental rights and responsibilities, certain state laws dictate what actions they can take. A relocation by one parent could potentially have a negative impact on the relationship of the other parent with the children. The farther away one parent intends to move, the more likely it is that the relocation will have an impact on family relationships.

Typically, you will need the approval of your ex or the Illinois family court if you want to move 25 miles or more away from the current primary residence of your children. You have to notify them and the courts in writing at least 60 days before the potential move.

If your ex agrees that the relocation is a good idea, then you can modify your parenting plan to reflect the new address. If they do not agree with your request to move, then you will likely have to go to court.

How do the Illinois courts handle relocation requests?

As with any decision relating to parental rights and responsibilities, relocation hearings should always prioritize what is best for the children. If you understand that, then you can structure your arguments for the relocation or modification hearing accordingly.

Demonstrating how the move would benefit the children will be a better strategy in most cases than focusing on why you would benefit from the change. Talking about the schools or the other family relationships that the children can cultivate after you move will be more convincing than talking about how much you need a change of scenery.

Employing the right approach when making a post-divorce relocation request will improve your chances of success.