In every divorce involving children, parenting plans must be formulated. Parenting plans, commonly known as custody arrangements, divide responsibilities between each parent. They define responsibilities such as the time each parent is scheduled to spend with their child, who should be the one taking the child to medical visits, and which house the child will reside in. These are just a few of the many responsibilities required of a parent as well as those that are defined under parenting plans. While parenting plans are legally in place until the child turns 18 years old, it is almost impossible for them to last that long without a need for adjustments – situations change and so do children’s needs. 

Which Situations Warrant an Adjustment?

As with any legally-binding contract, there must be legitimate proof that an adjustment is necessary. Judges do not simply change parenting plans for the convenience of the parent. There are certain situations that will allow, and even prompt, judges to modify a family’s arrangement. The following are common examples:

  • The child is not safe, especially in their residence;
  • A parent is moving or relocating;
  • The child is older and has asked for adjustments to be made;
  • A parent’s work schedule has changed, affecting their ability or flexibility to care for the child;
  • The family’s situation has changed, specifically their financial stability; and/or
  • Their current arrangement is not being followed.

Some families have a combination of the circumstances mentioned above, while others have different reasons altogether. Regardless, each decision is situational and is dependent on the child’s best interests.

How Do I Prove an Adjustment is Needed?

Judges will ask you for proof to verify that the adjustment is necessary. This can be difficult depending on your situation. If custody plans are not being followed, a journal or record of the issues can serve as a good tool. This can act as a report of what is and is not being followed. If the changes are being requested due to a parent’s new job, a parent’s schedule changing, or a financial change, the parent should provide the judge with paperwork from their new employer showing their required relocation, schedule adjustment, or financial changes. Safety concerns may be the most difficult to prove as there is often a lack of physical evidence. Witness statements from reputable sources may be your best bet. These can include teachers, medical professionals, and other family members. Third-party sources that do not have a connection to the child’s other parent are the most reputable because they have little to gain from the parenting plan adjustments.

Call a Lombard, IL, Parental Responsibility Attorney

We understand that parenting plan modifications are rarely requested without reason, but judges do not see it that way. In order to ensure that the child’s best interests are at heart, a judge must look at all angles of the situation, which is why you need an experienced attorney on your side. At A. Traub & Associates, we have years of experience with all areas of family law and remain up to date on all Illinois law changes to ensure that you are fully informed on your rights as a parent. If you are looking for help modifying your parenting plan, contact our DuPage County parental responsibility lawyers at 630-426-0196 today.


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