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  • Writer's pictureAngela Larimer

Moving out of State with your Child?

Divorce offers opportunities to make a fresh start and improve your life. For help with your divorce in Chicago, call Angela Larimer at 773-370-0600 or

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Are you planning on moving out of state with your child(ren)? There are a few things you should know!

First, let’s establish... Can you even move out of state with your children? What is the criteria? Are there different rules for divorced parents vs. unmarried parents who want to relocate with their child(ren)? In Illinois, if you are not married to the father of your child at the time of birth, the mother has sole custodial rights until the father establishes paternity. If the mother moves out of state and establishes residency, the father has 6 months to file for custodial rights, otherwise after 6 months both parents must follow the law of the current state in which the mother established new residency.

Next up to consider, what defines the relocation? If we are referring to any of the following counties in Illinois: Cook, DuPage, McHenry, Kane, Lake, or Will Counties, then moving with your child(ren) more than 25 miles from the child’s original home is considered a relocation. If it is not one of those listed counties, then moving with your child(ren) more than 50 miles away from the original home, within Illinois, is also considered a relocation.

Additionally, if you are planning on relocating with your child(ren), you must file a Notice of Relocation and give a copy to the other parent 60 days before the relocation occurs. If the other parent agrees then you can file their signed notice with the court. You can also ask the court’s permission to relocate by filing a Petition to Relocate, IF the other parent does not agree with your decision to relocate. What happens if you want to move out of state after your divorce? You still need to get permission from the non and/or joint-custodial parent or the court. In Illinois, the parent with the majority of parenting time or equal parenting time may move out of state after they provide the other parent with a written notice of their relocation intentions and the parent signed the agreement to relocate or a court grants him or her the right to relocate. Similar rules apply to divorced parents as non-married parents. Lastly to consider, if there is a court case pending involving your child(ren) then there are specific limitations with regard to when and where you can move with your child(ren). Consulting your attorney is vital to understand the exact specific details which may affect your relocation agenda!

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