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Changes to Parental Relocation in Illinois

Many of the major changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) coming from Senate Bill 57 have to do with the concept of child custody, which has now been reframed as the concept of "parental responsibility." Rather than making custody determinations, beginning January 1, 2016, when the law goes into effect, the court will make allocations regarding decision-making responsibility and parenting time. In addition, the court's role with regard to parental relocation will also change.

Parental Relocation Under Current Law

The current version of the IMDMA requires custodial parents, or parents with whom shared children live, to obtain permission from the court in order to move outside of Illinois. In order to get permission from the court, or an "Order of Removal," the moving parent must prove that the move is in the best interests of the child.

to do with the concept of child custody, which has now been reframed as the concept of "parental responsibility." Rather than making custody determinations, beginning January 1, 2016, when the law goes into effect, the court will make allocations regarding decision-making responsibility and parenting time. In addition, the court's role with regard to parental relocation will also change.

Parental Relocation Under Current Law

The current version of the IMDMA requires custodial parents, or parents with whom shared children live, to obtain permission from the court in order to move outside of Illinois. In order to get permission from the court, or an "Order of Removal," the moving parent must prove that the move is in the best interests of the child.

Senate Bill 57 and Parental Relocation

One of the challenges of the current version of the IMDMA is that it used the Illinois border as a way to determine whether or not a parent had to get permission from the court to move. It did not take into account that a parent currently living near the border may relocate to a residence outside of Illinois that's a reasonable distance away. Similarly, it did not take into account that a parent may relocate with children and stay within the state of Illinois and the new residence may be even farther than if the parent had moved out of state.

Senate Bill 57 recognizes and attempts to address those challenges by changing the requirements for when parents must seek permission from the court before relocating with their children. The new provisions base the requirement for permission of the court on distance from the original residence rather than whether the move is beyond the Illinois border. Parents residing in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties are permitted to move up to 25 miles without getting permission from the court. Parents residing in any other county are permitted to move up to 50 miles without getting permission from the court. Parents who move out of Illinois are permitted to move without getting permission from the court so long as the new residence is up to 25 miles away from the original residence.

In addition to changing the requirements for when parents seek the court's permission to relocate, the new provisions require parents to provide written notice of relocation to the other parent. If the other parent objects, the court makes a determination about whether or not the relocation is in the best interests of the child.

Contact Our Attorneys for a Consultation Today

If you have questions about relocating with your child, and what your responsibilities are under the IMDMA or the upcoming changes, contact our skilled DuPage County family law attorneys at The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. for a consultation today.

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