Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler, P.C.

Modifying a child custody order in Illinois

Any parent in Illinois can attest to the fact that a child's needs, wants and desires change dramatically over the course of his or her childhood. Parents have to continually adapt and keep up with the changes. Some changes are more difficult than others, but each one must be dealt with. This can be a hard job for parents who are living together and can easily work together, but the task can become even more difficult for divorced parents, who may not see eye to eye on all the parenting decisions.

Many parents who are divorced or who were never married, have custody and parenting time orders governing their interactions with their children. These orders will remain in place until the children are emancipated. However, the custody order, especially if it is from when the child is young, may no longer accurately reflect what is in the best interests of the child.

When the best interests of the child change, the parents need to decide on what course of action to take. If they cannot agree, then one parent may need to file a motion to modify the child custody order. However, unless both parties agree, a motion cannot be filed within two years after the date of the last order. There is an exception. however, if the current arrangement endangers the child's mental or physical health.

In order to modify a custody order, a parent must show that there has been a change in the circumstances of either the child or the parent. The modification of the order must also be in the best interests of the child.

Many parents in Illinois know that circumstances in their child's life have changed. These parents may be able to modify their current child custody orders to align with what is currently in the best interests of the child. Just like the initial custody determination, modifications can be complicated. Experienced Rockford attorneys understand when a modification may be appropriate and may be a useful resource to parents.

Source: Illinois General Assembly, "750 ILCS 5/610" accessed on February 2, 2015

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