Parents in Illinois may spend weeks, even months trying to find a child custody arrangement that works for everyone in the family. At Johnson & Johnson, Attorneys at Law, we understand that even the most comprehensive plan may need to be reevaluated as time passes. Anyone who is sharing custody of a child should know what the rules are when it comes to making those changes.
According to Illinois Legal Aid, a parent can request to change child custody at anytime as long as both parents agree to the modifications. In other circumstances, a change to an agreement will likely only take place when at least one of the following has occurred:
- A change in either the child’s or the custodial parent’s circumstances has taken place.
- At least two years have passed since the original agreement.
- The current living arrangement is seriously or could seriously endanger the child.
When both parents agree on the changes, then they may file a Joint Motion to Modify Custody with the court. If one parent does not agree, then there will be a contested custody battle, which can get complicated. As a contesting parent, you will need an affidavit to outline the reasons why the current situation is not working. This could include any detriment to the child’s physical or emotional health.
You will also have to put in writing a proposal for a new arrangement. Illinois Legal Aid reminds parents that a judge will only be able to either approve or disapprove the motion; a judge cannot give something to a parent that is not requested.
We know that these situations are often stressful and have serious implications. To learn more about how to handle your current custody situation, please visit our page on custody agreements.