Court-ordered child custody plans are not set in stone.
When life brings changes, you can request a modification of child custody. In Illinois, your request must meet a higher standard if you request to modify within the first two years following the initial ruling.
When modification may be necessary
Every situation is different and warrants special consideration. However, some changes in circumstances that may led to custody modification include:
- The incarceration of the custodial parent
- Current living situation presents a danger to the child
- Child experiences a significant decline in school attendance or performance
- Child develops psychological issues associated with current living situation
- Evidence of abuse
- Child develops social issues because of current living situation
- Custodial parent lives with a registered sex offender
In general, the court evaluates every argument for custody modification through the lens of what is in the best interest of the child. If the court finds that the child’s living situation changed to the detriment of the child, it will likely allow modification.
When the court may deem modification unnecessary
Sometimes the parent seeking to modify custody may not have sufficient reasoning. For example, one parent not allowing another to have scheduled visitation likely does not warrant modification. However, the court may take action to enforce the initial order. Additionally, not all changes in a parent’s circumstances qualify for modification.
Sometimes the rules of modification are unclear. To determine if you may qualify, you can ask yourself if any recent changes in your or your ex-spouse’s circumstances clearly impact your child’s well-being.