The Relocation Statute: Why a Parent Cannot Move More Than 25 Miles Away

Family Law Blog

The Relocation Statute: Why a Parent Cannot Move More Than 25 Miles Away

December 6, 2019 | Divorce, Parenting (Child Custody)

The Relocation Statute: Why a Parent Cannot Move More Than 25 Miles Away

When parents of minor children divorce, a parenting schedule is entered as part of an Allocation of Parental Responsibilities.  Parents who have equal or majority parenting time are restricted on where they can move under Illinois law, specifically the “Relocation” statute. The Rule states that if the child’s primary residence is in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry or Will County, then a parent with majority or equal parenting time cannot move 25 miles away from the child’s current primary residence, unless the parents agree or the court allows it.  If the child’s primary residence is in any other Illinois county, then the limitation is 50 miles.  Parents may move freely within 25 miles (or 50 if outside the Chicagoland area) without agreement or court permission.

The rationale for this rule is that it should not be excessively difficult for a parent to exercise his/her parenting time, nor for a child to see both his/her parents. If one parent, for example, has less than equal parenting time (say, alternating weekends and one night during the week) then that parent should not have to travel a great distance to have parenting time. Nor should the child have to travel a great distance to get to that parent’s home. As a practical matter, travel time can greatly interfere with parenting time which is not in the child’s best interests. Therefore, the parent who has the child most or equal time cannot move too far away.

To calculate the distance, the statute says to use an internet mapping service.  Presumably, this means the 25 (or 50) miles shall not be determined “as the crow flies”.  There is a helpful website that provides where one can calculate a 25 mile radius from a certain address.

This law takes protecting both parents’ relationship with the children very serious. The relocation statute is just one example.

The Botti Law Firm, P.C. has been serving DuPage and Cook County residents for nearly 50 years. We have vast experience handling cases involving divorce. If you would like to speak to one of our experienced attorneys, please email us or call (630) 573-8585 to schedule a free consultation. 

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