When a Custodial Parent Wants to Relocate


A common problem that divorced parents face is relocation when the custodial parent and the child move to a new residence either somewhere else in the state or to a different state altogether. But can the custodial parent, with whom the child primarily lives, just up and move?

The short answer to that question is no. The long answer is a little more complicated.

Are You a Custodial Parent Who Wants to Relocate?

There are many legitimate reasons a custodial parent might want to move, such as a new job, financial concerns, or to be closer to family. But the other parent must be notified in writing about the potential move at least 60 days in advance, if:

  • The custodial parent wants to move more than 25 miles away from the child’s home in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry or Will counties.
  • The custodial parent wants to move more than 50 miles away from the child’s home in any other county in Illinois.
  • The custodial parent wants to move more than 25 miles away from the child’s home to a different state.

If the other parent does not object to the move, then he or she must sign the notice and the custodial parent will file it with the appropriate court. But if the other parent objects or does not sign the notice, the custodial parent must petition the court for permission to relocate with the child.

What If the Other Parent Objects to Relocation?

Courts will consider the best interests of the child in cases where the custodial parent must seek judicial permission before moving. Factors that a court will consider include:

  • The reasons for the relocation and the reasons the other parent objects;
  • Each parent’s relationship with the child and compliance with the parenting plan;
  • The child’s educational opportunities where he or she currently lives and where he or she might move;
  • Where the child’s extended family lives;
  • How the move would impact the child;
  • How the court will be able to allocate parental responsibilities if the relocation occurs;
  • The child’s wishes, depending on his or her maturity and ability to express reasoned preferences; and
  • Any other relevant factor relating to the child’s best interests.

Note that Illinois is still considered the child’s home state if the custodial parent and child move 25 miles or less from the current primary residence to a new residence out of state. For example, if the current home is 10 miles south of the Wisconsin border and the new residence is five miles north of the Illinois border, then Illinois still has jurisdiction under the Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.

Let Us Help You with Your Case

If you need family law assistance, don’t hesitate to contact a legal professional immediately. The skilled Naperville family law attorneys at the Roscich & Martel Law Firm, LLC, can help you understand your rights as both a custodial parent and a noncustodial parent, including with relocation. Contact us today for a free consultation.


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