Can I Change My Parenting Time Agreement in Illinois?

Oct 26, 2023 | Child Custody, Co-Parenting, Divorce

The parenting time agreement that you and your ex landed on when you first divorced or first addressed the matter through the court may have served your family’s needs well at the time, but times change, and the need for modifications is not uncommon. If you’ve experienced a significant shift in your lives or schedules, an experienced Illinois parenting time attorney can help.

A Word about Casual Modifications between Yourselves

If you and your ex have landed on a modification that works for you, you should know that your original parenting time orders remain legally binding. In other words, if your children’s other parent changes their mind midstream, you can find yourself on the wrong side of a court order. The good news is that if you and your ex have reached an agreement, the court will almost certainly allow the modification.

The Best Interests of Your Children

The court will presume that the parenting time orders you currently have were based on the best interests of your children at the time. All child custody determinations in Illinois are predicated on the involved children’s best interests, which are determined concerning best interest factors like the following:

  • Each parent’s preference
  • The preference of each child who is mature enough to make their voice heard
  • Each parent’s level of involvement with the children
  • How well the children’s living situation serves their needs in terms of home, school, and community. If circumstances are such that a parenting time modification will better serve your children’s best interests, the court will hear you out.

Common Reasons for Parenting Time Modifications

Illinois courts will prefer to disrupt children’s lives less rather than more. Toward this end, parenting time plans generally can’t be modified until at least two years after the original orders were handed down – unless there is a compelling reason for doing so. The court also recognizes that children’s needs evolve, and some of the most common reasons for granting parenting time modifications include the following:

  • Either parent’s work schedule has changed significantly.
  • The children’s schedules have changed considerably.
  • Either parent has moved, and the current plan is no longer workable.
  • The children have reached an age where regularly going back and forth between homes is burdensome. Children who drive and have part-time jobs have very different needs than toddlers, and the court is invested in striking a balance with parenting time schedules that serve the children’s best interests when the matter is addressed.

Reach Out to an Experienced Illinois Parenting Time Attorney Today

If you need a parenting time modification, the compassionate Illinois parenting time attorneys at The Law Office of Bradley R. Tengler, P.C., appreciate your position and are committed to skillfully advocating for your parental rights – in pursuit of a modification that works well for you and your children. Our practiced legal team is standing by to help, so please don’t wait to reach out and contact us or call us at 815-997-5200 for more information today.