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Issues With Child Relocation and Why It Changed


In the past, child relocation was characterized as “removal” of a child. This means the court had to make determinations as to what was in the child’s best interests regarding the move and look to several factors to make a ruling on the issue.

Like other changes that took place with the new Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Of Marriage Act (IMDMA) as of January 1, 2016, child relocation has changed as well. Now, the “removal” aspect is considered in light of the parent and puts forth a new process to do so.

It’s important to remember that there’s a reason for this change. Below, we’ll discuss this in greater detail.

The New Process at a Glance

While we discuss the new “parental relocation” process in greater detail here, it’s worth reiterating a few important points. It’s important to understand that the process requires:

  • Advance written notice from the parent seeking to move to the other parent. This notice must include the date of the move, the new address, the length of time you will be there (if the move isn’t permanent), and must be provided at least 60 days in advance of the move.
  • Your ex-spouse will sign the notice if he or she agrees with the move. After filing this notice with the court, you will not need any further court interference with the process.
  • If your ex-spouse does not sign the notice the moving parent must file a petition with the court to be granted permission to relocate.

Keep in mind that where you live and how far you’re moving are all important factors as well.

Why the New Process Matters

Most individuals don’t think about the reasoning behind the law, but it’s important as well!

Illinois changed requirements regarding child relocation in an attempt to keep children in close contact with both parents following divorce. At the forefront of all concerns is whether both parents will share reasonable parenting time with the child. This makes it important to consider how far a parent is moving before they actually move.

Before this 2016 revision, a residential parent (i.e. the parent with whom the child was living) could relocate anywhere within a state without petitioning the court to do so. This is problematic because it could mean that a child did not see his or her other parent often, if at all.

The new statute addresses this issue by placing limits on how far parents can go in an attempt to forego this issue any longer. This keeps families united and children in close contact with both parents, helping them thrive after divorce.

Contact Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. if You Need Assistance With Relocation

If you have a new job or need to move for another reason entirely, Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. can help! We have over 35 years of handling child relocation and other child-related issues and as such, can guarantee the best possible outcome to your needs.

Contact us today at 630-470-9990 or fill out our simple online form to request your free, 30-minute consultation with Larry! We look forward to hearing from you and answering any questions you may have!

Concentrated on Family Law

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

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About Attorney Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd.

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

We continue to work with clients in Naperville, Wheaton, Lisle, Oswego, Downers Grove, and the surrounding areas to provide one-on-one support and attention that will help you through this difficult time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at any time. We look forward to offering our expertise and support to you throughout your case and after.