When divorcing parents cannot agree on parental decision making responsibilities or parenting time arrangements, the court will make a determination based on the best interests of the child. When deciding parental responsibility and parenting time, the court will consider various factors such as the child’s wishes, the health of the parents, the parents ability to cooperate when making decisions for the child, the physical distance between the parents, and whether there is a history of domestic violence or abuse. All relevant factors will be taken into consideration by the court to make a determination regarding parental decision making responsibilities and parenting time to serve the best interests of the child.
Typically court orders regarding parental rights and responsibilities will remain in effect for a minimum of two years before modifications are possible, with the possible exception of situations where a child’s safety or well being is endangered. Changes to an Illinois child custody order concerning parenting time may be modified upon showing of changed circumstances – such as one parent leaving the state – that require a modification to the parenting time for the benefit of the child.
After two years have passed, a modification to the court order regarding parental responsibility is possible if the parent can provide sufficient evidence of substantially changed circumstances to modify the order. In the absence of a substantial change of circumstance, the court may grant a modification in cases where the parties agree to the modification; for minor modifications; where a modification mirrors an actual arrangement under which a child has been receiving car, without objection, for 6 months preceding the petition, and; for modifications that the court would not have ordered or approved based on the what was known at the time of the original order.
Contact an Experienced Child Custody Modification Attorney
Changes to an Illinois child custody order are not uncommon simply because circumstances tend to change over time. However, it is very important to give thoughtful consideration to parental responsibilities (previously known as legal custody) and parenting time (visitation) when there are children involved in a divorce. Working with an experienced family law attorney can ensure that the best interests of your child are represented and that your parental rights are protected. If modifications to the child custody order are necessary, an attorney can assist you by presenting evidence to court to modify the order. If you have questions regarding Illinois parental responsibility, parenting time, or a modification to an existing child custody order, contact the law office of Ronald L. Bell & Associates P.C. for immediate assistance today at 847-495-6000.