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Chicago Child Custody – Moving Children Out of Illinois

Chicago Child Custody – Moving Children Out of Illinois

By: M. Scott Gordon

If you are a parent planning to move with your child beyond Illinois state lines, but you have a custody agreement with the child’s other parent, there are some important rules to consider before you leave.

Permanently Moving Out of State

If you plan to leave the state on a permanent basis, to settle in another state or another country, you will need to obtain permission from a family law judge, even if the other parent agrees to your move. The only circumstance that would allow you to avoid going to court in order to get permission would be if you and the other parent signed an agreement allowing you to remove your child from the state during the divorce process. Marital settlement agreements often cover this possibility, in the interest of being as thorough and forward-thinking as possible. If a judge reviewed and ratified this agreement during your divorce proceedings, it will apply to your present plan to move out of state. If you are unsure on whether the terms of your agreement would cover your move now, seek advice from a Chicago Child Custody lawyer.

Obtaining an Order of Removal from a Judge

Getting permission to move with your child can be a complicated process. Essentially, you must convince the judge that it is in the best interests of your child to travel or move with you. The judge will examine your child’s needs, the place where they can best be met, and whether there is an important reason underlying the move. If the judge finds that your proposed move will be harmful to the child, he or she will not allow it. In addition, if your divorce has not yet been finalized, it is not likely that the judge will agree to the move until the divorce is complete. On the other hand, some common reasons for a move that a family law judge might view as compelling include if your child is facing danger in your current place of residence, of if you have found a job in another state. For a complete list of specific issues the court will review, visit  Illinois Child Removal.

Parents who have sole custody are not exempt from the requirement of obtaining permission from a judge. Judges presiding over cases involving one custodial and one non-custodial parent with visitation rights will still weigh all relevant factors in deciding whether to enter an Order of Removal. The courts generally endeavor to preserve the ability of both parents to maintain good relationships with their child.

Contact a Custody Lawyer

The process of obtaining permission to move with your child can be long, often taking many months from start to finish. If you are considering making a permanent move, a family lawyer with knowledge of custody rules and procedures can help guide you through the process. M. Scott Gordon & Associates have years of experience settling custody cases; we can help you go to a judge for permission, and can help you apply for an Order of Removal. Contact our Chicago or Skokie office today for a consultation.