Out of state travel is typically granted by a divorce court to parties who do not otherwise have any restrictions on their parenting time. Parties who are unable to exercise overnight visits, or, parties who have supervised parenting time generally won’t be allowed immediately to travel out of state with their minor children until the restrictions are lifted, or, until the Court determines that it would be appropriate. Generally speaking, most parents are able to travel out of state with their minor children, but for a few guidelines.
Section 750 ILCS 5/609 of the current version of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act provides guidelines for what a party must provide if they intend to temporarily remove the minor children from the state of Illinois. Generally, an itinerary is required a certain number of days in advance of the travel, which includes all pertinent information regarding the travel plans, so as to keep the other parent informed of when and where the children will be traveling, how they may be contacted, etc. At a minimum, the status provides that an address and phone number must be provided to the opposing party or their attorney as well as the date the minor children will return to Illinois.
Some parties will agree in mediation or in settlement discussions to limit out of state travel of the minor children. Some parties will limit the minor children to traveling only when they are out of school. Other parents may want the minor children only to travel within the continental United States and for the other party to obtain permission before traveling elsewhere. Some parties choose only to allow minor children to travel to countries that have signed the Hague Convention, or to secure the minor child’s return through the other parent posting a bond. However, these are extreme situations and most parties are able to agree to some out of state travel. It is always a good idea to obtain a court order that has the exact travel information in it if you are not yet divorced but have a pending case, to ensure everyone has the same understanding regarding the out of state travel information and dates, and it can also help ensure the minor children are returned when expected.