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Modifying an Illinois Parental Responsibilities Court Order

 Posted on January 31, 2024 in Judgment Modifications

DuPage County divorce lawyerCircumstances may make parents feel a change is necessary to an already established parental responsibilities court order. The change can be determined mutually between parents to benefit their children or through a motion to modify through the court. Understanding the process and steps required will help ensure things move smoothly. A lawyer can help provide invaluable advice and counsel throughout the entire process.

Factors That Affect The Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

When a judge issues a court order on the allocation of parental responsibilities, it is done so in the child's best interest. It is not a decision that is made lightly and requires a judge to weigh multiple factors against one another to determine the best possible outcome. The factors a judge will consider may include:

  • The ability to co-parent
  • The wishes of the parents and child
  • The mental and physical health of the parents and child
  • The child's needs
  • The parent-child relationship of both parents
  • A history of abuse, if applicable

It will require significant changes in circumstances for one parent, both parents or the child, for a judge to modify an existing order. Reasons a judge may choose to grant a modification to an already existing parental responsibilities order can include:

  • Current situations in a household endanger the well-being of the child
  • There is evidence of physical or sexual abuse
  • One parent is currently incarcerated
  • A substantial cognitive decline in the child

When Changes Can Be Made To a Parental Responsibilities Court Order

When both parents agree on changes, a modification can be made anytime. However, Illinois looks to create a stable environment for children through the initial court order. So, if only one parent wishes to see modifications to that order or the most recently issued order, it will not have been within the last two years of that order. The only exception is when a parent can submit an affidavit with their petition that contains proof the current environment seriously endangers the child and their mental, physical, or emotional well-being.

A parent can submit a motion to modify if it has already been two years since the last modification. They must show that a substantial change in circumstances has occurred that would warrant a modification and prove that the modification is in the child's best interest. The parent must show a preponderance of the evidence to the court if they hope to see their accepted changes.

Contact a DuPage County, IL Divorce Attorney

A child's best interest is the primary concern when establishing a parental responsibilities order. The burden of proof falls onto the modification petitioner that their reasoning remains in their child's best interest. A skillful Naperville, IL, parental responsibilities modifications lawyer can discuss your options with you, go over the evidence you have, and help determine if it is enough to present to the court to make changes. Contact Calabrese Associates, P.C. at 630-393-3111 to speak with an attorney today.

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