You Could be Charged with a Felony for Moving Children Out of State Without Permission

You Could be Charged with a Felony for Moving Children Out of State Without Permission

By: Gordon & Perlut, LLC

Child custody disputes are common in cases where parents are divorced or unmarried and not living together. Even once a court order is in place, potentially complex issues can arise. A common example is when one parent wants to relocate. The Chicago area child custody lawyers at Gordon & Perlut, LLC explain how to handle this situation and the penalties you could face for moving your child out of state without the permission of the court or the other parent.

Obtaining Approval For An Out Of State Move

If you are a divorced or unmarried parent living in the Chicagoland area, the best way to protect your rights and the best interests of your child is to have a child custody order put in place through the Cook County Circuit Court or the Court in your county. During these proceedings, you will create a parenting plan allocating parental responsibility. It will include restrictions on how far away either party may move in the event of a relocation.

One of the primary considerations is that the distance does not impede the other parent from visiting the child or exercising their other parental rights. There are two ways to obtain approval for an out-of-state move:

  • Get the other parent to agree to the move: This involves sending written notice to the other parent within 60 days of the move, obtaining their signature on the notice, and then filing it with the court so that changes can be made in your child custody order.
  • Take your case to court: If the other parent does not approve of the move and refuses to sign the notice, you can take your case directly to court. You will need to show why the move is in your and your child’s best interests, the motives behind the other parent’s refusal, and how a parenting plan could be implemented if the court approves your request.

Parental Kidnapping: Penalties For Violating a Child Custody Order in Illinois

Even though you are the child’s parent and have primary or partial custody through a court order, you can face serious criminal charges for moving your child out of state without permission. Under the Illinois Statutes (720 ILCS 5/10-5), intentionally violating the terms of any valid court order granting sole or joint custody by removing a child from the court’s jurisdiction is considered child abduction. You could lose your parental rights as a result and face felony criminal charges, which include the following penalties:

  • Required payment of court costs and legal fees
  • Fines of up to $25,000
  • Up to a three-year jail sentence
  • A criminal record that follows you the rest of your life, potentially preventing you from obtaining jobs, housing, or an education

Discuss Your Case With Our Chicago Child Custody Lawyers

Before taking actions that could jeopardize your rights as a parent and may even result in criminal charges, discuss your case with our Chicago area child custody lawyers at Gordon & Perlut, LLC. first. To request a confidential consultation, reach out and call the Chicago child custody law firm at Gordon & Perlut, LLC today.