Illinois Child Relocation Checklist

Illinois courts take child relocation very seriously, since a child will be removed from the home county’s jurisdiction. To that end, the court will consider a long list of factors in determining whether relocation is appropriate. As in all matters concerning the child, the overarching goal is to maintain the child’s best interests.

To help you better understand child relocation and removal, the Law Offices of Joshua E. Stern has compiled this checklist. Though it is not exhaustive, we hope it provides a foundation to understand the factors considered in a child relocation case in Evanston, Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.

As always, it is advisable to hire an family law attorney when dealing with child relocation. Please feel free to contact the Law Offices of Joshua E. Stern with any questions you may have.

Illinois Child Relocation Checklist

In determining what is in the child’s best interest, an Illinois court will consider many factors:

  • What are the circumstances and reasons for the intended relocation?
  • Why is a parent objecting to the intended relocation?
  • What is the history and quality of each parent’s relationship with the child?
  • What are the educational opportunities for the child near the new home?
  • Will there be a presence or absence of extended family near the new home?
  • What is the anticipated impact on the child of relocating?
  • Can a reasonable allocation of parental responsibilities be reached if the child relocates?
  • What are the child’s wishes regarding relocation?
  • Can the impairment of the child’s relationship with the non-relocating parent be minimized?

Relocation cases can be the subject of intense litigation or debate in Illinois courts. As always, it’s best to keep the lines of communication open between parents and discuss the relocation sufficiently far in advance of any planned move. Any plan for relocating the child must be accompanied by ample evidence that it will benefit the child and not harm his or her relationship with the other parent.

If it’s likely that the relocation will be challenged, it’s best to consult with a family law attorney early in the planning process to begin assembling the necessary documents and arguments in support of the move.

Contact an Evanston Family Law Firm

Contact the Law Offices of Joshua E. Stern in Evanston and Chicago with any questions about child relocation; we are happy to help. You can request a free consultation online or call us at (847) 868-9584.

Our boutique family law firm is based in Evanston and serves clients across Chicago and the North Shore, including Skokie, Winnetka, Wilmette and Glenview.


“Josh is wonderful—super patient, easy to reach. Makes a stressful situation more doable for sure. Highly recommend!”

Allie C., Chicago
For a free consultation, call the Law Offices of Joshua E. Stern at (847) 868-9584 or contact us.