Child Custody Laws in Illinois: Moving Out of State

Life continues to change even after you’ve finalized your custody agreement, and when an opportunity for a custodial parent to move out of state arises, it can create complications. If you’re looking to relocate your children out of Illinois after a divorce, Illinois child custody laws state that you must get approval from either their noncustodial parent or the court system.

Receive Permission from the Noncustodial Parent

The first step towards moving your child out of state will be seeking approval from the noncustodial parent. Moving out of Illinois will likely make it more difficult for both parents to stick to the previously agreed upon custody arrangements, meaning that a new plan must be put in place. Because the child will be farther away from one of their two parents, a revised visitation schedule will need to be drafted, ensuring that both parents are satisfied.

Examples of revised visitation arrangements include the child spending longer holiday breaks with the noncustodial parent or making more frequent visits back to Illinois. Regardless of what’s decided, the agreement should be put into writing in case of future conflict. This could mean formally revising your divorce agreement or getting documentation notarized.

If an agreement is not reached, Illinois child custody laws state that the noncustodial parent has 21 days to contest a move out of state. This will likely result in both parties going back to court.

Receive Permission from the Illinois Courts

If the noncustodial parent agrees to the new arrangement and everything gets committed to writing, legal action can be avoided altogether. But if the two sides cannot reach a reasonable agreement, both sides will need to seek legal counsel in preparation for court.
The courts will use a set of factors to determine whether or not moving out of state will be in the best interest of the child. Questions will include:

  • How the move will affect the child’s quality of life, both positively and negatively
  • Why the custodial parent wants to move (e.g. for work, to be closer to family, etc.)
  • What kind of new visitation schedule can be reasonably obtained, and how will it affect all members of the family
  • Why the noncustodial parent is objecting to the move out of state
  • How far away is the move in question

Should the courts find in favor of the custodial parent, moving out of state will be permissible. But if the courts do not feel that moving the child away from Illinois is a reasonable ask, permission will be denied, and the custodial parent will either have to stay in state or potentially relinquish their custody status.

Get Help with Child Custody Laws for Moving Out of State

If you and your former partner are having trouble reaching a custody agreement that satisfies both your needs and Illinois custody laws, we can help. We offer legal counsel and mediation services to help you find a satisfactory resolution. Contact Conniff Law Offices to learn more.

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