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May 04, 2021

How to Modify Your Custody Agreement

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How to Modify Your Custody Agreement

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Child time-sharing and parenting plan agreements dictate the amount of time each parent gets to spend with their child. Created during divorce or paternity proceedings, the goal is to protect the child and provide structure for visitation arrangements. However, there are situations in which changes in the custody order are needed. Find out how to modify your custody agreement and the circumstances under which this type of legal motion can be filed. 

Chicago Child Custody Modifications

There are numerous factors that must be considered in creating child time-sharing arrangements. The age of the child, the relationship they have with each parent, the ability of the parents to meet the child’s needs and cooperate with each other, and any extenuating circumstances all factor into the judge’s final decision. 

Once a final child custody order is issued through the Cook County Family Court, both parties are required to follow it. Not complying with the terms of the order could jeopardize your rights as a parent and your ability to spend time with the child. In cases where a previously agreed-upon schedule is not working out or you need to make changes, you may be able to request a child modification. This process involves: 

  • Filing a motion to modify custody with the court, which explains the situation and the changes you want to be made; 
  • Waiting while a hearing is scheduled before the judge in your case;
  • Appearing before the judge and detailing your reasons for requesting the modification and providing evidence to support your claim. 

The other parent will also appear at this hearing and may either endorse the modifications you are requesting or provide their own reasons why a change should not be made. 

When to Request a Child Custody Modification

The ultimate goal of child custody and time-sharing proceedings is to ensure the best interests of the child are protected. This means the judge will carefully consider the reasons for child custody modifications before approving any changes in the existing order. 

Under the Illinois Statutes, custody changes are generally prohibited within two years of the time the original order went into effect. However, there are reasons you can still request a custody modification within this time limit. These include: 

  • Both parents agree to the changes;
  • Previously undisclosed facts arise in the case;
  • A substantial change has occurred either in the life of the child or the parents involved;
  • The current child custody order puts the child’s safety and well-being at risk. 

Contact Our Chicago Custody Modification Attorneys

When changes in child custody are needed to protect your child or your rights as a parent, the Women’s Divorce and Family Law Group can guide you in requesting modifications. Call or contact our Chicago child custody modification attorneys online and request a consultation to discuss your case today. 

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