Divorce is a complex and emotional process, and it can take longer than you might expect to reach a final resolution. In Illinois, there are several factors that can contribute to a lengthy divorce process.
March 17, 2023
How Do I Modify My Custody and Visitation Agreement in Illinois
In Illinois, custody and visitation orders can be modified if there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the original order was entered. This means that if your current custody arrangement is no longer in your child's best interests, you may be able to petition the court to modify the order. Here are some steps to take if you are seeking to modify custody in Illinois.
1. Understand the Legal Standard for Modification Before you can petition the court to modify your custody order, it is important to understand the legal standard for modification. In Illinois, custody can be modified if there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the original order was entered, and if modification is in the best interests of the child.
Examples of substantial changes in circumstances may include:
One parent has moved to a different city or state
One parent has remarried or entered into a new relationship
The child's needs or circumstances have changed significantly
One parent has developed a substance abuse problem or mental health issues
It is important to note that not all changes in circumstances will be sufficient to warrant a modification of custody. The change must be significant and have an impact on the child's well-being.
2. Work with a Family Law Attorney If you are seeking to modify custody, it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney. A skilled attorney can help you understand the legal process, gather evidence to support your case, and ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process.
3. Gather Evidence In order to successfully petition the court for a modification of custody, you will need to provide evidence to support your claim. This may include:
Records of the child's school attendance and performance
Testimony from teachers, doctors, or other professionals involved in the child's life
Records of any criminal or legal issues involving the other parent
Evidence of substance abuse or mental health issues
Testimony from family members or friends who can speak to the child's best interests
It is important to gather as much evidence as possible to support your case. Your attorney can help you identify and obtain the evidence you need.
4. File a Petition for Modification Once you have gathered the necessary evidence, you will need to file a petition for modification with the court. This petition should outline the reasons why you are seeking a modification of custody and should include any evidence you have gathered to support your claim.
After you file the petition, the court will set a hearing to consider your request. You will need to attend the hearing and present your case to the judge.
5. Attend the Hearing At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present your case to the judge. Be prepared to answer questions and provide additional evidence as needed. The other parent will also have an opportunity to present their case.
After considering all of the evidence, the judge will make a decision on whether to modify the custody order. If the judge decides to modify the order, they will enter a new order outlining the new custody arrangement.
In conclusion, modifying custody in Illinois can be a complex and challenging process. If you are seeking to modify custody, it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney, gather evidence to support your claim, and be prepared to present your case to the court. With the right approach and a skilled attorney by your side, you can increase your chances of success and ensure that your child's best interests are protected.
Divorce can be a complex and emotionally charged process, and having a skilled attorney to represent you can make all the difference.
Divorce can be a difficult and emotional process, especially when children are involved. In some cases, the court may appoint a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) to represent the best interests of the child or children during the divorce proceedings