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When Can Child Custody or Child Support Orders Be Modified?

 Posted on January 13, 2022 in Divorce and Family Law

IL divorce lawyerWhen married parents get divorced, their divorce decree will function as a legal court order that details how they will share child custody, and in most cases, one parent will be required to pay child support to the other. Child custody and child support orders may also be created in cases where parents are unmarried. These court orders will remain in effect until children reach adulthood. However, there may be some situations where one or both parents may wish to make changes to these orders. In these cases, it is important to understand what types of modifications can be made, when a parent can request changes and the procedures that will need to be followed to put modifications in place.

Modifications Based on Changed Circumstances

There are a variety of reasons why a parent may request changes to child custody. Parental relocation, in which a parent with primary or equal custody of children wishes to move to a new home, is one of the most common reasons for a modification. However, parents may also request modifications based on a desire for more parenting time with their children or because they are concerned about issues that affect children’s health and safety when they are in the care of the other parent.

Changes to the allocation of parental responsibilities (also known as legal custody) cannot be made within two years after a child custody order has been issued unless these changes are necessary to protect children’s health and well-being. However, changes to parenting time schedules may be made at any time. In general, a parent will need to demonstrate that their requested modifications are necessary because they or their children have experienced a significant change in circumstances. For example, adjustments to a parent’s work schedule may conflict with their parenting time, and they may request a modification to ensure that they will be able to continue spending time with their children on a regular basis.

Requests to modify child support orders will also usually need to be based on changes in circumstances. These changes may include the loss of a job or health issues that affect the income of a parent who pays child support, or the parent who receives support may request an increase in child support to address children’s changing needs. Until modifications are made, a parent will be required to pay child support as ordered, and any missed payments will need to be made up. To prevent these issues, a parent should request a modification of child support as soon as possible after experiencing financial hardship, and depending on the circumstances of the case, modifications may be retroactive to the date that the request was made.

Contact Our Wheaton Post-Divorce Modification Lawyers

If you have experienced changed circumstances or wish to make modifications to court orders related to child custody or child support, Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC can help you understand your options. We will advise you on whether you may be able to negotiate modifications with your children’s other parent, and if necessary, we will help you file a petition for modification and represent you in family court hearings. Contact our DuPage County family law attorneys today at 630-665-2500 to arrange a consultation and learn more about how we can help with your case.


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