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Moving a Minor Child Out of State (Part 3)

Cook County divorce lawyer James Kelly discusses Illinois law regarding moving a minor child out of state. This applies to all divorce cases in Illinois including Palatine, Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows and all other cities in Illinois.

The purpose of this blog is to inform the reader as to the procedure and law that dictates when a minor child can be moved out of state after a divorce has been concluded. In any dissolution of marriage proceeding in the State of Illinois, and when there are minor children whose custody is determined as part of the proceeding, the State of Illinois will retain jurisdiction over the minor children. Furthermore, the minor children are to remain in the State of Illinois until such time as the court grants one parent or the other permission to remove the minor children from the State of Illinois. Typically, however, it is the parent who has custody or residential custody or the majority of parental allocation responsibility that must seek permission of the Court to remove the
children from the State of Illinois.

Thus section 705 ILCS 5/609.2(c) provides that certain notice must be given by a parent intending to relocate a child. However, Section 609.2(c) states that this section only applies to a parent seeking to relocate a child as the term “relocate” is defined in Section 600(g) paragraphs (1), (2) and (3). We must know look to section 600 and determine what types of “relocations” require notice and or the serving of a petition to relocate the minor child.

The first section of 750 ILCS 5/600(g) paragraph (1) reads as follows, “A change of residence from the child’s current primary residence located in the county of Cook, Dupage, Kane, Lake, McHenry or Will to a new residence within this State that is more than 25 miles from the child’s current residence."

This is an incredibly interesting amendment to the old removal laws. Under the old laws the parent who had custody of the minor child was allowed practically to move anywhere within the State of Illinois without the permission of the court. Thus, if a couple had once resided in Chicago and the parent with custody of the minor child decides that they want to move the minor child to Cairo Illinois (roughly a 7 hour drive from Chicago) they were free to do so. The custodial parent did not need the permission of court to do so. The visitation complications were huge in that case. Contrast that scenario with the couple who resides in Antioch, Illinois and the Custodial parent wants to remove the minor child to Kenosha Wisconsin approximately one half hour drive away. The parent seeking to go to Kenosha Wisconsin was forced to seek leave to do so from the circuit court where the divorce was entered. This section seeks to remedy the disparity of results. In this case, the legislature recognized the that in the collar counties of Cook County, traffic is fairly burdensome and so has created a situation where a party seeking to move the minor child a mere 25 miles from the collar counties, must seek permission from the courts. The intent is to protect the non-custodial parents parenting time with the minor child. All persons will the majority of parenting must be aware of this statute section when they seek to sell a house in Cook County or the collar counties and purchase a new house that is more than 25 miles from the child’s current residence.

Next we will look at what notice is required to remove the child from the State of Illinois.

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