During the process of your divorce, it is important to reach a resolution on a parenting plan in accordance with your children’s best interests at the time. However, chances are that your life situation will change significantly in the years following your divorce, and the original parenting plan may no longer meet your children’s needs or your own. When this is the case, you should consider pursuing a legal modification to the parenting plan that better accounts for your family’s current circumstances.
Reasons to Modify Your Parenting Agreement in Illinois
After your divorce, you may modify a parenting time agreement at any time as long as you can demonstrate that the change is in your children’s best interests. Parental decision-making responsibilities, on the other hand, typically cannot be modified until two years after the original agreement was finalized, except in circumstances in which the children’s mental or physical health is at risk. Specific reasons to modify your parenting plan may include:
A parent’s move: A move to a new home within 25 or 50 miles may necessitate some changes to your parenting time schedule, while a longer-distance relocation may require a major adjustment, as well as additional approval from the court.
A change in a parent’s work schedule: If a parent’s schedule shifts and requires them to work during their scheduled time with the kids, a modification can help the parent maintain quality time with the children.
A change in a child’s school or activity schedules: If your children begin attending a new school, or if their extracurricular activities shift to a different day, it may help to adjust the time they spend with each parent to make transportation more convenient.
A change in a child’s preferences: As your children get older, the court may be more likely to consider their preferences related to the parenting plan. This may lead to a shift in the balance of time spent with each parent, or simply a reorganization that aligns with the children’s needs.
A change in a parent’s ability to care for the children: If a parent, for whatever reason, finds him or herself unable to care for the children as before, it may be necessary to modify not only the parenting time schedule, but also the agreement on parental responsibilities.
Even if both parents agree to a modification, it is still necessary to obtain approval from the court to implement the changes. A cooperative agreement may make the modification process easier if it is in the children’s best interests, but the court can also allow a modification for the good of the children even if one or both parents do not agree.
Contact a DuPage County Child Custody Modification Attorney
Even after your divorce, rest assured that you can call upon an experienced attorney from the Andrew Cores Family Law Group to assist with any necessary modifications. We will help you follow the appropriate procedures and present your case to give you the best chance of achieving the changes you and your children need. Contact a Wheaton parenting plan lawyer today at 630-871-1002 to request a free consultation.