Illinois has reworked the way that the state deals with child related matters related to divorce. The terms child custody and visitation have been replaced by “parental responsibilities” and “parenting time.” However, many people continue to use the term “child custody” informally. Divorced or unmarried parents create a “parenting plan” that describes the allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities as well as other child-related concerns and submit it to the court for approval. However, circumstances change, and sometimes parents need to modify their parenting plan.
Changing a Child Custody Order Before Two Years Have Passed
In any child-related legal matter, the court’s priority is always the child’s wellbeing. Illinois courts make all child custody decisions based on what is in the child’s best interests. Because change is often hard on children, courts typically avoid changing parental responsibilities within two years of establishing or modifying the custody arrangement.
If it has been less than two years since you created your parenting plan or modified the plan, the court will grant you a modification if you can show that the modification is necessary to protect the child’s safety. The court will only allow you to change the allocation of parental responsibilities if the child’s current living environment endangers his or her physical safety, emotional or mental health, or moral wellbeing....