When parents go their separate ways after a divorce, they typically end up with shared custody of children. A parent who later wishes to move will have to initiate a legal process to inform the other parent and gain consent if the move qualifies as a relocation.
In Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry or Will counties, the law defines relocation as a move that exceeds 25 miles from the child's current home within the state or to another state. Madison County and other counties in the state define relocation as a move of over 50 miles within the state or over 25 miles to another state. A parent needs to send written notice to the other parent and the circuit court 60 days before the move or as soon as possible. The parent needs to provide the new address and the expected duration of the move.
The other parent may consent to the child relocation by signing the notice and filing it with the court. The family court will then adjust the parenting plan. A parent who does not gain consent from the other party has the option of petitioning the court to request approval for the move. A judge will then consider the situation and decide the issue.
For the most part, the best interests of the child will guide a judge's decision. A person who wants help petitioning the court could enlist the services of a family law attorney. Prior to going to court, an attorney might be able to open negotiations with the other parent and gain consent by helping the two parties come to terms about revisions to parenting time and joint custody. Otherwise, an attorney could support the client by petitioning the court and supplying information about the necessity of the move.