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Know the Laws: Illinois

UPDATED October 9, 2016

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This page has Illinois-specific information on allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time.  There is also a general custody information page, which may be helpful.

After an order is in place

back to topIf I want to relocate with my child, how does the law define "relocate"?

Under the law, “relocation” has a different meaning depending on which county you live in and whether you are moving within Illinois or to another state.  

  • If the child's primary residence is Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will county, relocation would be any move:
    • within Illinois that is more than 25 miles from the child's current residence; or
    • to another state that is more than 25 miles from the current primary residence;*
  • If the child's primary residence is in any other county (aside from those listed above), relocation would be any move:
    • within Illinois that is more than 50 miles from the child's current residence; or
    • to another state that is more than 25 miles from the current primary residence.**

To see what steps you need to take if you want to relocate, go to If I want to relocate with my child, what steps do I need to take?

* 750 ILCS 5/600(g)(1),(3)
** 750 ILCS 5/600(g)(2),(3)

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back to topIf I want to relocate with my child, what steps do I need to take?

If a parent who has been allocated a majority of parenting time or equal parenting time in court wants to relocate with his/her child, there are certain steps s/he must follow:*

  1. s/he must provide at least 60 days' written notice before the relocation to the other parent (unless such notice is not possible - in that case, written notice shall be given at the earliest date possible).  The notice must include the following:
    • the intended date of the parent's relocation;
    • the address of the parent's intended new residence, if known; and
    • the length of time the relocation will last, if the relocation is not for an indefinite or permanent period.*1 Note: The judge may excuse you from giving all or some of this information (or may seal the information) if there is a history of domestic violence.*2
  2. s/he must file a copy of the required notice with the clerk of the circuit court.*2

If the non-relocating parent consents to the relocation, the law says that s/he can "sign" the notice and you can file it with the court and relocate.*3  Be sure to check with the clerk of court whether or not the signature needs to be notarized or if there are any additional requirements that must be met.  The court will then modify the parenting plan or allocation judgment accordingly (as long as the agreed modification is in the child's best interests).*3

If the non-relocating parent does not consent to the relocation, you must file a petition in court seeking permission to relocate.*4   Then a hearing would be held where the judge would decide whether or not to allow the relocation.  You can read about the factors that a judge will consider when deciding whether or not to allow you to relocate in section (g) of the law, 750 ILCS 5/609.2 on our IL Statutes page.

* 750 ILCS 5/609.2(b)
*1 750 ILCS 5/609.2(d)
*2 750 ILCS 5/609.2(c)
*3 750 ILCS 5/609.2(e)
*4 750 ILCS 5/609.2(f)

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