Divorcing parents in Illinois use a parenting plan or parenting agreement to lay out the terms of their custody agreement. The parenting plan describes the parenting time schedule, or when each parent will be responsible for the child, as well as how major decisions will be made about the child. If circumstances have changed since you created your parenting plan, you may be interested in changing the plan. Read on to learn the circumstances under which a parenting plan may be modified in Illinois.
Modifying Parenting Time
Parenting time or visitation is easier to modify than the allocation of parental responsibilities (decision-making authority). If you want to change the parenting time schedule, you can do so if the change to the parenting time schedule is in the child’s best interests and one of the following is true:
The parents agree on the modification.
The parents have been following a new parenting time schedule and the modification is needed to make the new parenting time schedule the official parenting time schedule.
The change you need to make to the parenting time schedule is minor.
The modification is needed to change a parenting plan that the court would not have approved if the court knew all the circumstances.
Changing the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities
If you wish to change parental responsibilities, the process will depend on when the allocation of parental responsibilities was originally established or last modified. Courts want to dissuade parents from changing custody arrangements frequently without justification as this can be disrupting to the child.
There is a higher standard to change a child custody order if it has been less than two years since the order was established or last modification. If it has been less than two years, you will need to demonstrate that the current allocation of parental responsibilities is putting the child’s health and well-being in serious danger.
If it has been more than two years, you will only need to show that the modification is in the child’s best interest and that there has been a substantial change of circumstances affecting the child and that requires the modification.
Contact our Hinsdale Child Custody Lawyer
Court permission may be needed to modify your child custody agreement. Our DuPage County family law attorneys can help you modify your parenting plan and handle any other family law concerns you have. Call our office at 630-920-8855 today for a free initial consultation.