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When Can I Modify My Illinois Parenting Plan?

 Posted on December 09, 2019 in Child Custody

parenting plan, Wheaton child custody lawyerDivorcing parents in Illinois must submit a parenting plan or parenting agreement to the courts. The plan must explain how parental responsibilities and parenting time will be allocated to the parents and include other important child-related decisions. Parents are encouraged to create their own parenting plan, but parents cannot always come to an agreement about the issues addressed in the parenting plan. In these cases, the court will step in and assign a parenting plan that is in the child’s best interests, called an allocation judgment. If the parents need to make a post-decree change to their parenting plan, they will need to do so through the family court system.

Changing a Court-Ordered Parenting Schedule

Any change to the final divorce decree is called a post-decree modification. Divorced individuals cannot make a post-decree modification for just any reason. Although it is still sometimes referred to as “child custody,” Illinois uses the phrase “parental responsibilities” to refer to a parent’s decision-making authority and parenting schedule. You may request a modification to the court order allocating parental decision-making responsibilities if it has been two years after the order was established. However, the court may grant a modification before two years if there is reason to believe that the current child custody arrangements may endanger the child’s health or emotional development. Parenting time, formerly called visitation, may be revised if there is a substantial change in circumstances that requires a change to serve the best interests of the child.

A substantial change in circumstances could include a move by one parent to another city or state or either parent getting a new job. If the child or either parent suffers a severe injury or is diagnosed with a serious medical condition, this could also qualify as a substantial change in circumstances.

Parents may modify a parenting schedule if they have been abiding by a new parenting schedule for more than six months and want to make their new parenting schedule the official parenting schedule. If parents only want to make minor changes to the parenting schedule, they may not need to show evidence of a major change in circumstances in order to be granted a modification. Lastly, a parenting schedule may be eligible for modification if the previous schedule was based on misinformation. If the court would not have authorized the current parenting schedule had all of the relevant facts been known, the court may rectify the parenting plan to reflect the actual circumstances.

Contact a Wheaton Child Custody Lawyer

For help with making modifications to an existing child custody order, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney from Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC. To schedule a confidential consultation, call our office at 630-665-2500 today.


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