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Mevorah Law Offices LLC
DuPage County Attorneys


900 E. Roosevelt Road, Lombard, IL 60148

Phone: 630-932-9100


134 N. Bloomingdale Road, Bloomingdale, IL 60108

Phone: 630-529-4761


105 W. Madison Street, Suite 2200, Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 630-932-9100


1730 Park Street, Suite 202, Naperville, IL 60563

Phone: 630-420-1000
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Naperville parental relocation attorney

Even in the midst of a divorce, when big changes are already in motion in a household, other circumstances can arise that create an even greater divide between a parent and a child. Sometimes new developments at work or with extended family surface, placing a parent in a position where he or she must decide whether or not to relocate in the wake of a divorce. In other situations, one parent simply wishes to retaliate or distance him or herself--and the child the couple shares--from the other, with hopes of starting over after the separation. Whatever the reason for a potential relocation, there are certain laws in place to govern each parent’s rights when it comes to moving after a divorce. Parents cannot simply take off and uproot their child in the process without proper court authorization and approval from the other parent. These restrictions exist for a number of reasons, one of the most important being the protection of the child’s best interests. 

The Impact of Relocating After Divorce

If you or your ex-spouse must move due to a job transfer or other circumstances, it is important to weigh some of the potential consequences of relocating after your divorce, such as the following:

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Lombard, IL family lawyer

Divorced parents often try to stay in the same area in order to maximize both parents’ involvement in the lives of their children, but that is not always possible. One parent may have a career opportunity that requires relocation, or maybe they just want to move closer to their family. If the relocation distance is substantial, the other parent may object because it will affect parenting time with their children and add the burden of travel costs. These cases often must be argued in court.

What Distance Does Illinois Consider a Relocation?

Illinois law 750 ILCS 5/600(g) defines relocation in terms of the distance between the child’s current primary residence and the new address, as measured by an internet mapping service which provides a distance in miles driven.

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parental relocation law changes, Illinois divorce lawyerWith all the changes made to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) in 2016, parents may be concerned as to how their lives and the lives of their children may be impacted. Rest assured in knowing that most amendments in Senate Bill 57 are meant to better define what is in the “best interest” of minor children and that the courts still want to provide reasonable liberties to parents. Revisions made to the Illinois parental relocation laws (laws that govern a parent’s right to relocate after divorce) serves as a prime example.

Old Parental Relocation Laws

Before the implementation of Senate Bill 57, parents would need to obtain permission from the court to move outside of the state of Illinois (otherwise known as an "Order of Removal"). This applied, even in areas that bordered along the state line, and it created a two-prong problem. First, parents who wished to move only a handful of miles had to prove that moving out of state was in the best interest of the child. Secondly, parents could move anywhere within the state’s borders, and that sometimes far exceeded a reasonable distance from the other parent.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_parental-relocation.jpgAfter a divorce, the parties involved finally feel they are able to focus on who they are as individuals, now that the couple has ended. Largely, the shift from a couple to an individual creates a sense of renewal, and for many divorcees it may mean buying a new car, getting a new job, or moving to a new town (largely to put a little distance between the ex-spouses). Parental relocation can have significant effects on the children who are caught in between the life they once had as a child of the couple, and now the child of two individuals. Relocation can have a negative impact on children as not only are they dealing with the major life change of their parents separating and not living under the same home, but relocation could mean a new home, a different community, a different school, and new friends.

The Amendment to Parental Relocation

Relocation has always been a significant issue in child custody battles as the courts evaluate, in a joint custody situation, the best interests of the child. Generally, however, the moving parent may still receive visitation and communication rights, but the ability to relocate the child is under the microscope and at times, not permitted. The newest update to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) provides a broader, more relaxed approach to parental relocation by reviewing several factors before ascertaining that a parent loses residential custody of their child.

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