Leaving the State With Your Child After A Divorce

Separating from your spouse can have a permanent impact on your life, especially if you and your ex-spouse have children. The impact is most obvious when you want to leave the state with your child.

Whether you are considering moving because your job is requiring it, or you are just planning a trip to the Grand Canyon, the decision of whether your children can accompany you after a divorce is not ultimately up to just you. Instead, your child’s other parent, and in some cases even the court, will be involved in making that decision. This can become an issue for any divorced parent, as moves can sometimes be unplanned.

According to the U.S. Census, almost one out of every five moves happens for employment reasons. If this happens to you or your ex-spouse you may find yourself in a removal dispute, even if you both hoped to remain geographically close to one another for the sake of your children.

Illinois Law on Removing Children from the State

Illinois statute governs the removal of children from the state after a divorce. Basically, removals fall into two categories: temporary and permanent. Temporary removals are for things like vacations or short trips out of state for events like funerals or college visits. If you intend to take your child out of state for this sort of temporary trip, the first step is to seek the approval of your child or children’s other parent. You must also provide the other parent with the address and the phone number where your child will be out of state and tell him or her when you will return with your child. If the other parent agrees, you can go on the trip without any further steps.

However, if the parent does not agree, then you will have to go to court and get a judge’s permission in order to take your child out of state. You also have to get a judge’s permission if you intend to actually move with your child out of state, even if your child’s other parent agrees to the move. In deciding whether to allow the removal, a judge will consider what is in the best interests of your child.

What about International Trips?

There is nothing that specifically prohibits international trips with your child, so long as the parent agrees to your child going on the trip. You will usually need the other parent’s permission and signature in order to obtain a passport for your child. Depending on what country you are taking the child to, however, you may need a court order to show that country’s authorities in order to be allowed to enter the country with your child. Other countries, like Canada, require proof that your child’s other parent approved of the international travel before he or she can be admitted into the country.

Call Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C.

If you are seeking to leave the state with your children after a divorce, you will need the help of the Illinois divorce attorneys at Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C. Our phone number is (630) 756-5112. Whether you are just planning a family vacation or you are considering moving across the country, we can provide you with the advice and advocacy you will need in what can be a complicated situation.