If you are separated from your spouse, you may have concerns about the terms of your child custody agreement. Child custody laws are reviewed and modified for a number of reasons and are specific to the needs of both the parents and the children. Understanding child custody laws can be a confusing process, but our team at SLG Family Law is here to help you understand your rights and responsibilities in regard to Illinois law.
Illinois no longer employs the word “custody” in regards to these agreements, and refers instead to “parental responsibilities.” While individuals are free to request a change in their agreement, known as a modification, it’s not guaranteed that a judge will approve the request. In order to request a change, the following must have occurred:
If the above criteria have been met, a modification request can be taken to court. In addition, the court may ask for clarification in how the changed circumstances have affected the best interest of the child. The court’s concern lies in establishing an agreement that aligns with the child’s best interests, rather than just the requests of the parents. A modification cannot be established without court approval and any parent who goes against their established agreement can face serious punishment.
While there is no definite time frame of how long a modification can take, each step will require a certain amount of time and effort from the individuals requesting the modification. If a parent is requesting a modification, they must notify the other parent of this request. That parent will be given a specific timeframe to respond to the request, which is usually 30 days for initial agreement trials. Parents will also need to fill out a parenting plan that outlines the responsibilities of each parent and this should be done no later than four months after requesting the initial modification. The court will establish a date for both parents to discuss the requested modifications, which may be weeks or months after the request. However, once a couple receives this date, they can expect the judge to make their decision for approval at this hearing.
If a request for a minor modification is made, such as changing which days a parent is allowed to visit the child, the court will most likely approve that quickly after the request is made. When requesting a modification, it becomes necessary to revisit the previous agreement in order to determine what changes may be necessary.
Much of the established time frame is dependent on the cooperativeness of each parent and the timeliness of the needed forms and requested changes to the agreement. Once all of the necessary forms are in, a court date can be established rather quickly and is primarily dependent on the changes requested. By adhering to the court’s requests, the entire process can be a quick and easy experience.
If you have questions about modifying your child custody agreement, contact our expert Illinois attorneys today.
Chris did a great job listening and educated me throughout the process. He always kept my child's best interest as the focus.
I highly recommend Christopher Maurer to anyone in need of an experienced attorney. Mr. Maurer quickly assessed my situation with a divorce matter. He set forth a direct, clear path to secure my legal entitlements. Mr. Maurer consistently kept me informed during the process. His impressive grasp of the law…
Chris took good care of me during my case, answered all my questions, and wrapped things up in a timely fashion. He gave me peace of mind throughout the process. I was very happy with the results, and recommend him to all of my friends.
He was very informative. Gave detailed and concise answers to my questions. Most importantly, he talked to me and not at me. Something I truly appreciated..
Sarah represented me in modifying a complicated child support/joint parenting agreement. She did an exceptional job and guided me through every step of the process. She is very knowledgeable, dedicated and an excellent person to work with. She always promptly returned my calls/emails same day. She is so personable and…
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