Moving with Your Child? Know What the Law Requires

relocation, moving, Aurora family law attorneyWhen you live an area as widespread and diverse as the Chicagoland region, opportunities may abound for you. With minimal effort, you may be able to find a new job or new place to live quickly, helping you improve your life substantially. This can especially useful following a divorce or other major life change but if you have children and are subject to a custody order or parenting plan, you will need to be aware of what steps you may be required to take.

Moving to New Home

If you have been granted primary physical custody of your child—or the majority of the parenting time as specified under the new law—you are expected to help foster a positive relationship between your child and the other parent. Of course, you cannot be responsible for the other parent’s behavior, but you should not make it more difficult for him or her to spend time with your child.

Your parenting plan or custody order most likely includes provisions for your respective parenting time. Moving to a new home that is not all that far away is not likely to present a major obstacle for the other parent. It is when the distance increases that things can get become rather complicated.


The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act was recently updated to define a relocation as it pertains to parenting agreements and orders in the state. A relocation, by law, is considered to be significant change in circumstances requiring the modification of a custody or parental responsibilities order, and involves a parent with half or more of the parenting time moving with the child. Specifically, a relocation is any move by such a parent with their child:

  • More than 25 miles to a new home in Illinois from a current home in the immediate Chicago area, including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will County;
  • More than 50 miles to a new home in Illinois from a current home in any other county; or
  • More than 25 miles to a new home outside Illinois from a current home anywhere in the state.

If you are looking to move and your move would be a considered a relocation under the law, you will need to obtain the other parent’s permission. You may be able to take your matter to court to override his or her objection, but you will need to show that the relocation is objectively in the best interest of your child and not just your own.

Contact an Attorney

When you are considering a move, you should first discuss your potential plans with an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. We will help you meet your obligations under the law and work with you to achieve the outcome you need and deserve for yourself and your child.



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