Can I Move Out of State With My Child After an Illinois Divorce?

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Can I Move Out of State With My Child After an Illinois Divorce?

Move-away modifications are among the most frequent family law modification actions in Cook County. Most people move about 12 times during their lives. Interstate moves are especially complex on a number of levels, and that includes family law matters. Other countries, like Mexico and Canada, have separate states or provinces. But these entities are more like administrative divisions. In the United States, different states have different laws in many areas, including family law.

Out-of-state moves are normally hard on children, so courts scrutinize them carefully. Furthermore, after the move, there are some additional and necessary housekeeping matters to consider. A Rolling Meadows family law attorney is an important partner throughout the process. Any misstep could have serious adverse consequences for you and your family, both now and in the future.

Pre-Move Issues

Courts usually must approve out-of-state moves when minor children are involved. It does not matter if the relocating parent is the residential or non-residential parent. The only exception is an out-of-state move of less than 25 miles. For families in Chicagoland, that probably means a move to Gary, South Bend, or possibly southwestern Michigan. 

Any other out-of-state moves require judicial approval. The judge will approve the move if it is in the best interests of the children.

Interstate moves are almost always in the best interests of the parents. These relocations usually mean economic opportunity, usually in the form of a new job. Other people move long distances for personal reasons. Perhaps they want a warmer climate or a different environment.

If a Rolling Meadows family law attorney is limited to these kinds of arguments, the motion will most likely fail. So, the relocating parent must frame the relocation differently. For example, economic opportunity for the parent usually means a higher standard of living for the children.

Judges are even more likely to approve relocation requests if they are agreed. Usually, these pre-filing agreements involve some give and take. For example, Mother might agree to let Father relocate with the children if Father agrees to shoulder visitation costs.

On a related note, the judge could add some conditions to interstate moves. The aforementioned cost-sharing agreement is a good example.

Post-Move Issues

Under federal law, after the child resides in a new state for six months, the residential parent may file a motion to transfer the family law matter to the new jurisdiction. This procedural move has several benefits. The other parent will be unable to drag the children into court back in Illinois. And, if further modifications are needed, the relocated parent may handle the situation locally.

Furthermore, as mentioned, the family laws differ in other jurisdictions. Child support is a good example. Most states, including Illinois, follow the income share model. A complex formula determines monthly payment obligations. Other states, including Texas, are percentage-of-income states. The obligor’s income is basically the only factor. So, in some cases, the child support obligation could be substantially larger in some states.

At the same time, under the Constitution’s full faith and credit clause, existing provisions remain in place. Once again, Texas is a good example. Alimony is extremely limited in the Lone Star State. So, if the obligor spouse moves to Texas, s/he cannot re-litigate the issue in order to reduce or eliminate the spousal support obligation.

Rely On a Dedicated Cook County Attorney

Various legal solutions are available for your changing family. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Rolling Meadows, contact Andrea Heckman Law, Ltd. Convenient payment plans are available.

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