First of all, if a parent wants to move away, we consider that to be a substantial change in circumstances, which allows us to file a petition for relocation – that’s what it’s called. Either parent can file that petition. They have to give notice at least 60 days before. They have to have all kinds of things in the notice about what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and everything else. That can be found in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act Section 609.2. There are 11 different factors, and if a parent moves more than 25 miles away, they have to go through this process.
Another parent can object. The other parent can say, “You know what, I don’t want you to move and here’s the reason why, or the parties could sit down and work out a new parenting plan based on the new situation of where everyone’s going to live. The judge is also going to look at the best interest factors to see whether or not it is in the child’s best interest to relocate.
With 30 years of experience in family law, Laura M. Urbik Kern is a certified mediator and family lawyer who concentrates on dissolution, family and juvenile law, child support, and complex domestic relations cases.