Traveler's suitcases.Post-divorce custodial parents and children looking to relocate inside or outside of Illinois should be aware of new laws and procedures for this situation effective in 2016.

See the brief outline below, and consider reviewing your specific circumstances with a qualified Illinois divorce attorney and/or employing divorce mediation.

  • Up to now, a post-divorce move out of Illinois with a child has been termed “Removal.” The new law now defines this issue as “Relocation.”

  • Previously, parents and children could relocate anywhere within Illinois without Court approval. Quite often, however, this action negatively affected visitation options between the non-custodial parent and the child, resulting in the following changes:

    • For residents of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, or Will Counties who will move more than 25 miles from their current location, a visitation/parenting agreement must be reached between the parties or a Court petition filed requesting the right to relocate.

    • For residents of all other Illinois counties, the above actions are required for moves of 50 miles or more.

  • The parent seeking to relocate with a child must provide the other parent with a 60-day written notice of the intent to relocate.

All of this means that the relocating parent must be very prepared and take action well before this planned post-divorce modification.

A qualified DuPage County divorce attorney can help ensure that notice of this child relocation is properly written and sent within the required time frame and that any petition filed or agreement reached complies with the new 2016 divorce and parentage laws.

As a divorce lawyer trained in family mediation, I can help you navigate these new laws so your relocation is a positive experience for everyone involved. Contact me to learn more.


Erin BirtIllinois attorney Erin Birt is a skilled legal professional with over ten years of experience in trial and divorce law serving clients in many DuPage County cities including Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Warrenville and Winfield.

She opened the Law Firm of Erin Birt, P.C. in 2010 to offer her clients alternative divorce resolution services, specialized collaborative divorce options and family law expertise. She and her expert team continually develop creative outcomes such as divorce mediation and family law mediation that work for all parties involved, particularly children.

Ms. Birt holds a J.D. from DePaul College of Law and is a member of the Collaborative Practice Professionals of Illinois, the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and the DuPage County Bar Association. She is a past board member and presenter for the Mediation Council of Illinois.