location 166 W. Washington St., Ste. 400, Chicago, IL 60602
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George Skuros
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phone 312-884-1222

Cook County Parental Relocation Lawyer

Arlington Heights parental relocation lawyer

Attorney for Relocating With Children in Chicago and Surrounding Areas

For children of divorced or unmarried parents, traveling between two homes is often a regular part of life. In many cases, it is in a child's best interests for both parents to continue living close to each other so that they are able to see each parent on a regular basis and maintain a close relationship. However, it is sometimes necessary for a parent to relocate many miles away or out of state, and this can lead to significant legal challenges that need to be addressed.

At The Law Offices of George J. Skuros, we represent parents who are looking to relocate, as well as those who want to understand their rights when their children's other parent intends to move away. We have decades of experience practicing family law, and we will ensure that you know what to expect in your case and take all reasonable measures to protect your interests.

When Does a Move Qualify as a Relocation?

Especially in the case of a divorce, it is understandable that a parent would need to find a new home. While it is usually important for parents to keep each other informed of their addresses for the purposes of co-parenting, moves to nearby locations are permitted without requiring approval. However, Illinois has established criteria for when a parent with majority or equal parenting time does need to request permission to relocate. These criteria depend on both the child's current primary residence and the intended location of their new home. Specifically, a move qualifies as a relocation:

  • When a child currently lives in Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, Kane County, Will County, or McHenry County, and a parent intends to move to a location more than 25 miles away within Illinois.
  • When a child currently lives in any other Illinois county, and a parent intends to move to a location more than 50 miles away within Illinois.
  • When a child currently lives in any Illinois county, and a parent intends to move to an out-of-state location more than 25 miles away.

When is Parental Relocation Permitted in Illinois?

If a parent plans to relocate under any of the three circumstances described above, they will need to give written notice to the other parent as soon as possible, usually no later than 60 days before the intended date of the move, unless circumstances do not allow for such advance notice. The parent who receives notice can choose to sign it, signifying approval for the relocation, in which case the court is likely to permit the move as long as it is in the children's best interests.

When parents are in agreement about the children's relocation, they also have the opportunity to work together to negotiate modifications to the current parenting plan. Often, this means adjusting the parenting time schedule, perhaps with less frequent exchanges and longer stays with each parent. It could also mean modifying the allocation of parental responsibilities depending on how the move may affect the children's education and extracurricular activities. Other important provisions could include plans for long-distance travel between homes and electronic communication to make up for less frequent in-person contact.

In many cases, however, a parent who receives notice of an intended relocation will choose not to approve. When this happens, the matter will have to go before the court, and it may need to be resolved through litigation. Both parents will have the opportunity to make their case, and the court will issue a decision that it finds to be in the children's best interests after considering a number of factors, including:

  • Each parent's reasons for requesting or objecting to the relocation
  • Educational opportunities and extended family near the children's current home and the intended location of their new residence
  • The effect of the move on the children's relationships with both parents and the ability to maintain a fair allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities
  • The children's preferences, taking into account the children's maturity and understanding of the situation

Contact a Chicago Child Relocation Attorney

Protecting your children's interests and your own is especially important when distance may make it more difficult for you to spend time with your kids. At The Law Offices of George J. Skuros, we can help. Contact us today at 312-884-1222 to schedule a free consultation. We handle child relocation cases throughout Cook County and the surrounding areas, including Chicago, the North Shore, and the Northwest Suburbs of Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Mount Prospect, Arlington Heights, Inverness, and Schaumburg.

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