The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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move, Aurora family law attorneyIn today’s digitally-connected world, it has never been easier to find employment and educational opportunities. Sometimes, of course, these opportunities may be far from your current home. If you are single and have no children, taking a new job in another state could seem like an exciting adventure. If, however, you are a parent who shares parental responsibilities with a former partner, doing so is often much more complex.

Moving Out of State

The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) contains provisions that apply to parents who wish to move out of Illinois with their children when they are subject to a parenting plan or court-issued custody order. If you wish to move out of state and have at least half of the parenting time with your child or more, you must notify the other parent of your intent to move. Notification is not required if your move will be less than 25 miles from your current home.

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relocation, Aurora family law attorneyNobody likes the idea of feeling trapped. If you are like most people, you want the freedom to seek new adventures and new opportunities. Of course, certain responsibilities in life may limit your ability to enjoy such liberties, but that does not mean they are completely out of reach. If you currently share parental responsibilities with your child’s other parent, you may feel that you are no longer free to pursue your personal goals, especially if they involve moving to another part of the state or out of Illinois altogether. Getting permission from the court for a relocation, however, may be possible, and there are some things to think about before you make a decision.

Legal Requirements

When you are the parent with primary parental responsibilities and half or more of the parenting time with your child, you must obtain permission from the other parent before relocating with the child. If the other parent refuses, you can seek permission from the court for the move. You only need approval if your new residence would be within Illinois and more than 25 miles from a current home in the metro Chicago area, or more than 50 miles from a current home anywhere else in the state. An out-of-state move requires approval if it is more than 25 miles from a current home anywhere in Illinois.

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parental relocation, Illinois law, Aurora Family LawyerThe State of Illinois is geographically larger than many entire nations. Covering an area of nearly 58,000 square miles, Illinois is roughly the same size as the countries of Tunisia and Nepal, and about 15 percent bigger than Greece. As a state, Illinois ranks 25th in geographic area, placing it squarely in the middle of the pack. Despite its expanse, current laws regarding child custody make it completely legal for a custodial parent to move a child from one side of the state to the other without approval, while making a short move across state lines illegal. Beginning in 2016, however, this is set to change as a law signed last month will completely revamp relocation guidelines for parents subject to a custody order.

Current Requirements

Under the current law, a parent with primary residential or physical custody of a child is permitted to move anywhere within the state of Illinois without approval from the court or the other parent. While such a move could certainly create logistical difficulties and, most likely, strain the relationship between the parents, there is no statutory measure in place prevent it. This means a parent could move with the child from Evanston to Carbondale—about five and half hours and 350 miles away—without approval.

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moving, out of state move, Illinois family law attorneyResponsible parents are always looking for ways to better their children’s lives. For some, this may mean working two jobs to provide extra income or returning to school. For others, it may mean moving into a bigger house or a better neighborhood. Sometimes, such efforts will lead a parent to consider moving to another state. While an out-of-state move may be a fairly easy decision in many cases, a parent who is subject to a child custody agreement may face additional challenges.

Petitioning for an Out-of-State Move

Before removing the child from Illinois on a permanent basis, a custodial parent must obtain the consent of the non-custodial parent. The other parent’s consent may have been included in the original custody or parenting agreement. If the other parent agrees to the move, the process is relatively simple, but the court must still be included. A court order acknowledging the desire to move and the granted consent of the other parent can help prevent future problem.

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A Pennsylvania woman, whose newborn was taken from her because of an alleged failed drug test, recently settled a lawsuit against Lawrence County, PA child welfare agency and Jameson Hospital, located in New Castle, PA.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, who filed the lawsuit for Elizabeth Mort in April 2010, announced that Mort settled the suit for $143,500.

According to a report in Yahoo News, Mort had eaten a poppy seed bagel shortly before she went into labor and went to Jameson Hospital to deliver her daughter. A routine blood test administered to Mort upon being admitting showed a false positive for opiates in her system. This information was forwarded to Lawrence County child welfare agency and they showed up at Mort’s house and with an emergency protective custody order removed her three-day old infant.

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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