After divorce, can I move out of Illinois with my children?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Support on Saturday, March 26, 2016.

After divorce, there is one fewer tie to where you are currently living. As the years pass, reasons to move to a new state can come up: a new relationship, job opportunity, or desire to live closer to relatives.

If you and your ex don’t have any children, he or she probably has no say in where you choose to live. But if you do share custody of children, that is a complicating factor. Depending on where you move, the distance can dramatically impact the custody plan, possibly greatly reducing the amount of time the kids get to spend with one of their parents.

State law requires a parent who shares child custody and is moving out of Illinois to get a court order allowing the parent to take the child to live out of state, unless the other parent agrees to the move. If the parent objects, it is up to the judge to decide whether moving away from Illinois — and, possibly, hundreds of miles from their other parent — is in the child’s best interests.

Among the factors the judge must consider are:

  • If there is an “important” reason for the move
  • The child’s needs, and where they can best be met
  • Whether the child’s living situation would improve by moving, or grow worse

Coming up with “important reasons” to justify the move is a big part of the would-be relocating parent’s case. There can be both push and pull factors: the child might be in danger in Illinois, or the parent might have a promising job waiting for them in another state.

If the judge agrees to the move, he or she will issue an Order of Removal. It can take months for the judge to decide.

If you are trying to take your kids to a new state, or fighting such a move, you will need an experienced family law attorney’s help.

Related Posts