How Do I Move?

Moving?  Have a child custody case?  Find out how far you can move and what you need to do in Illinois.  Ask an Illinois attorney.

How Do I Move?

The changes to the laws that took effect on January 1, 2016 made it much more streamlined to move out of state, but the process is relatively the same in terms of what the custodian of the child has to show:


If you live in Cook, Kane, DuPage, Will, Lake or McHenry County, you can simply move without Court involvement if you're moving within 25 miles of where you used to live.  If you do not happen to live in Chicagoland, you can move within 50 miles of where you used to live without giving notice.

Furthermore, you can move within 25 miles of your present location, over the state's border (to cities such as Hammond Indiana or Kenosha Wisconsin) without further notice.  

If you're moving more than 25 or 50 miles, circumstances depending, you will need to follow the procedures below.


The parent seeking to move with the child must send written notice i to the other parent, stating that he or she intends to move.  To send proper written notice, the following requirements must be met:

  • The notice must state the date when the parent intends to move;
  • The notice must list the new address where he or she will be moving;
  • If the move is not permanent, the notice must state the length of time the parent will be living in the new location;
  • The notice must be given to the other parent at least 60 days in advance of the move, unless the court orders otherwise. If such advanced notice would be impracticable, written notice would have to be given at the earliest date practicable. 

If the non-moving parent agrees with the move, he or she would sign the written notice, the moving parent would file the signed notice with the court, and the move would be allowed without any further court action.  If the non-moving parent objects to the move, or does not sign the written notice, the moving parent must file a petition with the court asking for permission to relocate.