The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (“IMDMA”) governs divorce cases in Illinois. The IMDMA was amended, effective January 1, 2016, with regard to parental relocation. The law which existed prior to January 1, 2016 restricted the removal of a minor child outside of the State of Illinois. The new statute limits a parent’s relocation based on distance, not state lines.
The law prior to January 1, 2016, a parent with primary custody of a minor child(ren) was permitted to move anywhere within the State of Illinois. However, the parent with the primary custody was not permitted to move with the minor child(ren) anywhere outside the State of Illinois without court permission. The concern with this previous law was that a residential parent could move with the child hours away within the boundaries of the State of Illinois without getting court permission. However, the parent could not move across the border to a neighboring state even if it was very few miles without court permission.
The new statute, effective January 1, 2016 defines relocation as: