April 22, 2016

Child Custody Modifications in Illinois

Child Custody

When the court has issued a final order in an allocation of parental responsibilities case, the case usually isn’t over. Illinois law allows for both parents to ask the court to modify the order in the future. However, before you can get a modification you will need to meet several criteria.

Significant Change in Circumstances

In most instances you cannot seek a modification in Illinois for at least six months after a final order is issued. You will also have to prove that there has been a significant change in circumstances before the court will even consider the changes to the order that you are requesting. A significant change in circumstances may include:

  • A change in either parent’s work schedule or income;
  • A change in the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health;
  • Changing needs of the child as he or she gets older;
  • Either parent moving to a new home; or
  • Either parent getting remarried or getting involved in a serious romantic relationship

Best Interests of the Child

After you have established that there has been a significant change in circumstances you will have the opportunity to request specific changes to the order governing the case. You will need to convince the judge that the requested changes are in the child’s best interests.

Once you have started the modification process the other side will also have a chance to ask for changes to the order. For example, it is possible that both sides want different changes to the allocation of parental responsibilities. The judge will have to consider the requests and evidence presented by both sides and weigh several different factors.

Reaching an Agreement

It is possible for both sides to reach an agreement to the types of modifications they feel would best serve their child. In cases where a couple reaches an agreement, judges will almost always grant the modifications, unless the judge believes the changes would harm the child.

When an Agreement Cannot Be Reached

If the two sides cannot reach an agreement, an evidentiary hearing about the modifications will be held. This hearing will allow both sides to present evidence and call witnesses. Sometimes the modification process is just as grueling and complicated as the original court proceedings.

If you are considering seeking a modification to the final order in your family law case, you need to speak with a skilled and experienced DuPage County family law lawyer. Call the firm of Mulyk Laho Law, LLC today at 630-852-1100 to setup a consultation.