During the Illinois divorce process, parents have an important responsibility to fill out a “Parenting Plan” document which states the details of parenting time and the allocation of parental responsibilities between the two parties. Parents may cooperate in the creation of a single parenting plan, or each parent may feel the need to draw up their own plan during the divorce case. With either approach, once the divorce is finalized and a plan is approved by the judge, it becomes legally binding. However, if your circumstances change after the divorce, you may be able to modify the parenting plan.
When It May Be Necessary to Modify a Parenting Plan
A parenting plan is not necessarily set in stone. If you, your former spouse, or your children go through major life changes after your divorce, a judge may agree to modify the plan. Here are a few situations that may warrant a modification.
One parent moves out of state.
The child’s needs have changed.
One parent loses a job.
One parent has a new work schedule.
The child is in danger.
How to Change a Parenting Plan
If you wish to change the court-approved parenting plan, you should first review the terms of the existing parenting plan to identify the specific changes you want to make. You will then need to prepare a “Motion to Modify Parental Responsibilities”. If you also want to modify the existing child support order, you will need to request that in your motion as well. You should then file your motion with the clerk of the court in the same county where your parental responsibilities were first decided by a judge.
If you and your former spouse are in agreement about the necessary modifications, you can work together to complete the motion and file it for the court’s approval. However, if you choose to initiate the process on your own, you will need to officially notify the other parent about your motion and the date of the upcoming court hearing so they have the opportunity to respond. For the hearing, you should be sure to arrive on time and be prepared to explain why you need to modify your parenting plan. An attorney can represent you at this hearing and help you gather all relevant documents to bring with you. If the judge approves of your requested modifications, they will take effect from that point forward.
Contact a Hillside, IL Family Law Attorney
If you need assistance with modifying a parenting plan, get in touch with an Oak Park, IL family lawyer. At the Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C., (established in 1988) we know how important it is to have a parenting plan that works for you and that serves your children’s best interests, and we can provide the help you need to make this possible. Call us at 708-449-7404 to schedule a free consultation.