Can a residential parent move a child(ren) out of state?

A child may not be removed permanently from the state without a court order. The parent who wants to relocate with the child out of state bears the burden of proving that the move is in the best interests of the child. A court must consider the following factors in determining whether a proposed move to another state is in the best interests of the child:

·         whether the move will enhance the general quality of life for both the custodial parent and the child

·         whether the custodial parent’s proposed move is a ruse to frustrate or defeat the other parent’s visitation rights with the child

·         the motives of the noncustodial parent in resisting the removal

·         the visitation rights of the noncustodial parent, and

·         whether reasonable visitation schedule can be achieved if the move is allowed.

For a time, it was very difficult to obtain a court order permitting removal of a child, and the custodian might well be in the position of choosing between a child and a new spouse or important career move. This appears to be changing, but the parent seeking to move must prove that it is in the best interests of the child, not just the parent. Such issues as the type of housing, job opportunities, excellence of neighborhood and school, activities for the child, and a well-considered plan to keep the child in touch with the left-behind parent must be addressed. Some judicial districts in Illinois are more lenient about allowing removal than others and this is something you should discuss with your attorney or one who knows the Judge you are presiding in front of.


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