Child Relocation Outside Illinois

Prior to 2016, moving a child out-of-state required either consent from the non-custodial parent or permission from the court. For example, a parent attempting to move from Calumet City, Illinois, to Hammond, Indiana, a distance of less than 4 miles, could not do so without consent or court permission. Yet, under the former law, a parent could move from Waukegan, Illinois to Carbondale, Illinois, more than 370 miles away, without any legal requirement for consent from the other parent or permission from the court.

As of January 1, 2016, this all changed. The Illinois legislature revised the portion of the family law statute regarding relocation of a child, what was formerly known as “removal.” Now, the law determines whether a parent is attempting a “relocation” of a child based upon the proposed distance of the child’s move from his or her current primary residence.

In returning to the previous example, moving a child from Calumet City, Illinois to Hammond, Indiana, would no longer be considered a “relocation.” Therefore, no consent from the other parent or permission from the court would be required. Conversely, moving a child from Waukegan, Illinois (in Lake County, Illinois) to Carbondale, Illinois, would require consent or permission, as it is a move of greater than 25 miles from the child’s primary residence.

Once a divorce or parentage case has been filed, a parent cannot relocate a child from his or her primary residence unless the proper procedures are followed. Those procedures are set forth in our discussion of Relocation within Illinois.

If a parent relocates outside of Illinois with a child 25 miles or less from the child’s current primary residence, Illinois will continue to be considered the child’s “home state” under federal law (the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act”), and any future moves of the child must be done in accordance with Illinois law.

Obtaining permission from the court to relocate a child from his or her current primary residence can be a difficult, challenging process, and must not be taken lightly. It is therefore imperative that you consult with a knowledgeable, experienced attorney like those at Kollias & Giese, P.C., before attempting to relocate with a child.

The attorneys at Kollias & Giese, P.C. are well-prepared to answer any questions you may have about your rights, obligations, or the process in general. If relocation is an issue if your case, you should contact us to schedule a free consultation.