How do I change a child custody order?

The good news and the bad news for Illinois parents, depending on how they like their child custody orders, is that they are relatively easy to change as compared with other court decision and agreements.

This is because the focus of a custody and visitation decision, called a parenting time allocation in Illinois, is to always keep the best interest of the child at the forefront, and the best interest of the child can change with circumstances.

While a mother or father who lives in Lake County cannot file for a change of custody or parenting for any reason whatsoever, they can file a request to change custody if they can show a significant change of circumstances. These can include things like a move, a change in jobs, some misbehavior on the part of one of the parents, or some similar change.

Also, it is a good idea for a parent to file for a change in child custody if the child has moved in with him or her or with someone else, even if the other parent agrees to the change. A parent would be free in this sort of situation to file a custody agreement with the court.

One additional caveat to this rule is that a parent is not allowed to file requests to change his or her custody arrangement within two years after a previous custody order had been entered, unless the parent filing the request can show that a child is in a dangerous situation.

While it is possible to ask for a change in parental responsibilities if there has been a change in the child's or parent's circumstances, there are still a lot of complexities that one will have to navigate in order to be successful in accomplishing one's goals. This is why it is often advisable for a Lake County parent to get the help of an experienced family law attorney when asking for a change in custody or parenting time.