Child custody is a difficult matter to deal with, even when you have a court-ordered agreement. You may find that the child custody agreement is not feasible, especially years after the divorce. Thankfully, there is a process for updating child custody orders in Illinois.
Changing a custody order requires an understanding of the law and convincing a judge to agree to the changes. Here is an overview of how to request a child custody modification.
If you want to change custody or parenting time under normal circumstances, you must wait two years since the initiation of the current order. This two-year timeframe is in place to promote stability for your children. The courts do not want the living arrangements of the child changing significantly within a short period of time.
Additionally, if the other parent disagrees with your desire to change the agreement, you must provide evidence of a change in circumstances to justify a modification. Some common reasons may include changes in income, the custodial parent cohabitating with a new partner or relocation of either parent.
If you are able to see eye to eye with your ex-spouse, you can seek a modification together. When both parents agree on changes, judges are likely to approve them as long as they are in the best interest of the children.
However, it is vital to know that there are different requirements when children are in danger. If you can prove that children are at risk of neglect or abuse, you may be able to convince the judge to change the order more quickly, even if the two-year time period is not over yet.
Changing a custody order requires you to submit a variety of documents to the court, including a motion and affidavit. You must notify the other parent about your petition and court date. The judge will likely order court hearings and custody evaluations to settle the issue.