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Can you relocate with your kids after your divorce?

Moving away from Peoria is often an option many who have been divorced may consider. Whether a relocation is due to work opportunities or you wanting to put distance between yourself and the life you shared with your ex-spouse, it can signal a major step forward in moving on with your life. Yet what if you and your ex-spouse have kids together? Is packing up and moving away with them an option? 

It is if you do it properly. Section 609.2 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act lists the requirements for you to amend your custody agreement to accommodate a relocation. First, you must prepare a notice that includes the following information: 

  • The date you want to move
  • Your new address (if you have already have found somewhere to stay in your new city)
  • Whether the relocation is indefinite, and if it is not, how long you plan to be away

This notice must be given to both your ex-spouse and the court that has jurisdiction in your case at least 60 days prior to your planned departure. You may, however, not want this to be the first time that your ex hears of your plans to relocate. He or she can object to them, which would then require you to seek the permission of the court to relocate. The court may not necessarily bar you from moving, but it can modify your parenting plan in ways that you may not like. 

Thus, a better strategy may be to involve your ex-spouse in your plans. This allows the two of you to come up with your own revised plan that is amiable towards both. This advice should not be taken as actual legal counsel, but rather a suggestion to help make your move as smooth as possible. 

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