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How to Request More Parental Responsibilities for the New Year

 Posted on December 19, 2019 in Judgment Modifications

How to Request More Parental Responsibilities for the New YearAs another year nears its end, many people will take stock of their current lives and what they want to change. A divorced parent may resolve that they want a greater role in their children’s lives, whether it is through parenting time or decision-making. Illinois allows modifications to the allocation of parental responsibilities under certain circumstances. If your situation qualifies, you will have a chance to change your parenting order or agreement, as long as that change is in the best interest of your children.


A parent’s decision-making power is their authority to make choices about their children, such as how to raise the children and whether to allow medical treatment. WIth divorced parents, one parent may have sole authority to make decisions or both parents may need to approve major decisions. Illinois allows a parent to petition to modify their decision-making power after two years have passed since the court approved the order or agreement. The petitioning parent must prove why changing their decision-making responsibility is in the best interest of the children. The court may modify the order or agreement without waiting two years if it believes that the current arrangement is threatening the children’s well-being or impairing their development.

Parenting Time

Parenting time is the amount of time that the children spend with each parent, usually outlined in a schedule. A parent may immediately petition to modify their division of parenting time or their parenting time schedule if they can prove a significant change of circumstances, which may include:

  • One parent moving to a new location, which may affect the ease of transporting the children
  • A change in a child’s life that necessitates greater involvement by a parent
  • A child having enough maturity to make their own decision regarding how much time to spend with each parent
  • Evidence that one of the parents is abusive towards the children or endangers them

A court may allow a parenting time modification without the petitioner having to prove a significant change of circumstances if:

  • The modification reflects how the parents have been dividing parenting time for at least six months.
  • The court has learned of circumstances that would have changed how it previously ruled on the parenting plan.
  • The modification is minor.
  • The parents agree on the modification.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

When seeking to modify your allocation of parental responsibilities, you must be prepared to justify your request in the context of what is best for your children. A Naperville, Illinois, divorce lawyer at Calabrese Associates, P.C., can help you make your argument for changing your parenting time or decision-making powers. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-393-3111.


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