As a divorced individual, you know that not all plans work out. Sometimes, you need to pivot and regroup. Situations can arise in the care of children that necessitate a change of arrangements, just as they did in the case of your marriage. In this scenario, you may need to make changes to your legal parenting plan, referred to as a child custody agreement outside of Illinois.
What changes can be made to your existing parenting plan?
The parenting plan agreed upon at the time of your divorce outlines arrangements for the upbringing of your child, including legal and physical parenting responsibilities as well as matters like child support. If your circumstances qualify, you can petition the court for the following changes:
- A different parent gets primary physical custody (the child would move to their residence)
- A different parent makes everyday decisions about the child’s life
- A different parent pays child support
- A different parenting time schedule arrangement
These decisions will revolutionize your child’s life, so do not undertake a petition like this lightly. You should only move forward after consulting an experienced family law lawyer.
Scenarios in which you can request a change
If both parental parties agree to the new arrangements for the good of the child, applying for a change is a straightforward process. If you and your former spouse disagree on what’s right for the child, you must prove that the situation with the opposite parent has significantly changed since you agreed to the original parenting responsibility order. In a disputed parenting plan situation, there is a waiting period of two years after the initial agreement to give the child a chance to adjust.
The notable exceptions to this rule are:
- If the child is in immediate danger, you can request a change at any time.
- If the change is minor and both co-parents agree, you can request that the judge update the plan.
- If the change has already taken place and has been in effect for six months, you can request an updated legal document.
You’ve done what’s right for you in the case of this divorce. If doing right by your child necessitates an amendment to the original parenting responsibilities order, an experienced lawyer can help you do the right thing for your family.