Change is constant, and few people realize this better than parents. Couples who are separated but co-parenting often have the added difficulty of trying to fit life changes into their parenting plans. However, when major changes include relocation with the children, co-parenting can become very complicated.

Relocation is not unusual for many families. Parents may have job transfers, want to be near family members or simply want a change of scenery. For those who are co-parenting, it is important that any relocation follow the restrictions and limitations in the custody agreement. For example, if a parent plans to move the children outside the state of Illinois, he or she will need to notify the other parent and obtain that parent’s consent.

Failing to obtain consent from the other parent may mean returning to court for a judge to decide whether the move is in the best interests of the children. To prove this, the relocating parent must show how the move will benefit the children, such as improved educational opportunities or a better neighborhood. The relocating parent may also have to provide the court with a plan for maintaining the visitation rights of the other parent.

When one parent is seeking consent to relocate, it can be an emotional time. Both parents may feel they are acting in the best interests of the children, but there is a great deal at stake. Having the advocacy and guidance of an Illinois attorney is a smart way to approach any relocation or custody issues.