Prepare For Your Hearing With A Parenting Time Lawyer Chicago
Going into a hearing unprepared and asking the court tomodify a parenting plan is not likely to be successful. As in any other family law hearing, the more you prepare for the hearing with your attorney the greater the chance that you will be successful. This is especially true when you are requesting a change in the parenting plan. If you are requesting residential placement with your child (i.e., you want your child to live primarily with you) or if you want additional parenting time with your child, consider the following tips to prepare for your hearing:
Meet with your attorney. Your attorney will need to prepare the appropriate motions to bring the matter before the court. However, more importantly your attorney can help you understand the legal standard that the court will use to decide the matter and will review the evidence you have to support your request in light of that standard. This can help you have a good understanding of what your chances of success are. If your testimony will be necessary (and chances are it will be), your attorney can also help you know what questions to expect from him or her, the other parent’s attorney, and the court.
Know why you are wanting to change the parenting time arrangement. You should have a clear and compelling reason for wanting to change parenting time arrangements. Simply wanting to spend more time with your child is not likely a compelling-enough reason to have the court disrupt the child’s routine. You and/or your attorney will need to examine all of the facts available and settle on one or more reasons for wanting to modify the parenting time plan.
Determine what witnesses and evidence will be necessary. Your testimony alone is not going to be sufficient to be successful in your request. You will need witnesses and/or evidence to support your testimony. Grandparents and other family members will not likely be persuasive as most judges assume these family members are going to testify in your favor. Depending on the reason for the requested change, consider asking teachers, neighbors, therapists, doctors, coaches, and other individuals to testify in support of your request. Some of these individuals may also have records available that can be used to bolster their testimony. If your request for modification is due to alleged abuse or threatening behavior, make certain you have any videos, text messages, e-mails, letters, or other communications saved and available for use.
In Illinois, grandparents do not have any automatic right of visitation with their grandchildren after a divorce. It may be that visitation was written into the original custody agreement, but if the custody arrangement changes, those…
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