One of the most frequently-litigated issues in an Illinois family law case is “custody.” (Since January 1, 2016, the term “custody” has fallen out of use and is replaced by “parenting time.”) It is not uncommon for parents to litigate the issue of parenting time over and over – sometimes several different times in the same year. However, it can seem like an uphill battle to get a court to change previously-entered parenting time orders. Is there a way parents who do not have primary residential placement of the child can obtain this?
“Best Interest” Standard and Parenting Time
Before discussing those situations most likely to result in a change in the parenting plan, it is helpful to remember that a court enters orders affecting the placement and care of the child based on what it believes to be in the child’s best interests. A court can consider a number of factors in making this decision, and a court does not necessarily need to agree with a psychologist, therapist, or other family member (or any of the parties) in making its decision. This standard is applicable when a court first creates a parenting plan and when a court is asked to modify that plan.
Situations Most Likely to Result in a Change of the Parenting Plan
With this understanding, it should be noted that most courts believe that stability and familiarity are usually in the child’s best interest. Thus, in order to obtain a change in the parenting plan the court must be convinced that there are serious and compelling reasons to upset the child’s routine. Some of these situations include:
For assistance in modifying parenting plans in Illinois, contact the experienced Cook County family law attorneys at Arami Law Office. You can reach them by calling (312) 212-1399 or by contacting the firm online.
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