If there is no court case involving your child
You can move with your child if there is no court case involving your child and:
- You and the other parent are married or are in a civil union; or
- You are the natural mother and the child has lived with you for more than 6 months
If you move out of state, and the other parent files a parental responsibilities case in Illinois within 6 months, you will probably have to come to Illinois to participate in the case. You may even have to return your child to Illinois.
If there is a court case involving your child
If there is already a court case involving your child, there are special rules about when you can move with your child. You should talk to a lawyer about how the rules apply to your case.
Moving, but not relocating
If you already have a court order about parental responsibilities, and you have the most parenting time, you can move the child without asking the court or the other parent, if the move is not a "relocation."
You are relocating if you:
- Move more than 25 miles from the child's original home if it is in Cook, DuPage, McHenry, Kane, Lake, or Will Counties or the new home is out of state; or
- Move more than 50 miles away from the original home within Illinois if it is not in Cook County, DuPage, McHenry, Kane, Lake, or Will Counties.
If you are relocating with your child, you must follow these steps:
- File a Notice of Relocation, and give a copy to the other parent at least 60 days before your planned relocation.
- If the other parent agrees and signs your notice, you can file the signed notice with the court and move without going to court any further. The court will also change your parenting plan/parental responsibilities order to allow the move.
- If the other parent doesn't agree or doesn't sign the notice, then you must ask the court for permission to relocate. You do this by filing a Petition to Relocate.
After you ask the court for permission to relocate, you must go to a hearing where the court will decide if relocating is in the child's best interests. The court will look at:
- The quality of each parent's relationship with the child,
- The reasons for relocating,
- Educational opportunities available in each location,
- The arrangements for parental responsibilities,
- Extended family in both locations,
- Impact on the child, and
- The wishes of the child.
Updated: March 2018