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Change of Circumstances Allows Immediate Modification to Parenting Time

Posted on in Judgment Modifications

Change of Circumstances Allows Immediate Modification to Parenting TimeWhen former spouses determine parenting time during a divorce, they are creating a schedule that works best at that moment. The needs of children and parents change as they get older. So, it is natural that a parenting time schedule will need to change at some point. A court must approve any modifications to a written parenting time agreement for them to be legal. The difficulty of the process may depend on: 

  • How significant the changes are;
  • How much time has passed since the agreement was created; and
  • Whether both parents agree to the changes.

New Laws

If your parenting time agreement was approved before 2016, you may hear unfamiliar terms when you return to court to modify it. For instance, your parenting time schedule may have been called a visitation schedule. Illinois enacted new divorce laws in 2016, and the new terms reflect a change in philosophy for creating parenting agreements. Parents are allocated responsibilities instead of being granted custody, and parenting time is one of the primary responsibilities. The language in your visitation agreement may be out-of-date, but the agreement can still conform to the law. As long as the court is satisfied that the agreement is in the child’s best interest, you may be able to preserve the parts that you do not want to change.

Reasons for Modification

For two years after the allocation of parental responsibilities have been enacted, Illinois does not permit parents to make modifications, unless the child is in danger. However, there is no waiting period to modify parenting time schedules, as long as one of the parents can prove a significant change in circumstances. Examples include:

  • The children’s schedules interfering with parenting time;
  • A parent’s new schedule affecting when he or she available;
  • A child’s needs being best served by spending more time with a parent; or
  • A parent deciding to relocate or remarry.

No Change Needed

Illinois law also allows parents to modify their parenting agreements without establishing a change of circumstances if:

  • Both parents agree to the changes;
  • The changes are deemed to be minor;
  • The parents have been implementing the changes for six months without complaints; or
  • A parent presents new evidence that would have affected the court’s initial decision.

Modifying Your Plan

If your parenting plan no longer works, you need to explore ways you can improve it. A DuPage County family law attorney at Calabrese Associates, PC, can help you create a modified parenting plan and present it in court. To schedule a consultation, call 630-393-3111.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K610.5.htm

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