Search Site
Menu
How to Change Custody and Parenting Time Orders in Illinois

There are many reasons why a child custody order may need to be modified. A parent might get a new job in a different town, become injured or suffer emotional trauma. Or a parent might be violating the current parenting time arrangement. Whatever the reason, there are situations in which when one or both parents may want to request a change to their current custody and parenting schedule. When can you request a change in parenting time in Illinois? The answer depends on how much time has passed since your existing order was entered.

If less than two years have passed, it will be difficult to change the arrangement. That’s because the courts are concerned with providing stability to the child, and changing parenting arrangements may undermine that stability. The party requesting a change after less than two years must show that the current parenting situation poses a serious danger to the child’s physical, emotional or mental health, which is a high bar to meet.

If more than two years have passed, then the requesting parent must prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances with respect to the child or either parent. They must also prove that making a change would be in the best interests of the child. Substantial changes could involve any number of significant events, such as a parent’s relocation, a change in the child’s preferences or a child’s academic or emotional well-being.

If you have grounds to request a change, the first step is to file a motion to modify parenting time in the court of the county where the current custody order was entered. The motion must include:

  • A notice of motion to notify the other parent of the upcoming court date.
  • An affidavit where you swear to the facts that form the basis of your modification request.

Once the custody change proceeding has been initiated, the following steps may happen:

  • Mediation —Mediation with the assistance of a neutral third-party professional mediator is mandatory.
  • Appointment of a guardian ad litem or a child representative — This is typically a family law attorney whom the court appoints to act on behalf of the child’s best interests. The attorney will interview the parents and the child if he or she is old enough to better understand the situation.
  • Psychological evaluations — Often, but not always, courts order that the parents and children undergo psychological evaluations.
  • Discovery —The parents’ attorneys may be able to conduct depositions and gather other evidence in preparation for a trial.
  • Pretrial settlement conference —The judge meets with each party to encourage them to settle without a trial.
  • Trial — If a settlement isn’t reached, both parties will be able to present evidence and call witnesses at a trial, at the end of which the judge will enter an order either modifying the existing parenting arrangement or denying the motion for modification.

At the Law Offices of Paul Chatzky in Northfield, our lawyer has extensive experience in Illinois custody modification proceedings. We are ready to represent you throughout the process, whether you are seeking modification or challenging it. Call us at 847-416-1646 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.

Paul Chatzky Attorney Photo
Paul Chatzky
Founder

About Born in Havana, Cuba, Paul Chatzky is fluent in Spanish and English, enabling him to effectively represent a wider range of individuals and businesses. He is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, and is listed among Illinois Super Lawyers, which is a reflection of his high ethical standards and exceptional legal knowledge. As…

Deborah E. Chatzky Attorney Photo
Deborah E. Chatzky
Paralegal

About Prior to joining the firm as a paralegal, Debbie was employed by major banking institutions as a loan processor and as an executive secretary. Debbie was also employed as an administrative assistant for the Board of Jewish Education. Having majored in Sociology, Debbie graduated from the University of Florida in 1980. Debbie completed her…

Client Reviews
  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Paul Chatzky is well educated, knows in and outs in terms of law, keeps everything under control, responds to emails, returns phone calls almost immediately. Very professional and extremely detail-oriented lawyer. Highly recommended.

    Read more

    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Mr. Chatzky is very responsive, ethical and effective. I’m extremely happy with the service and I would highly recommend this law office to anyone seeking legal help

    Read more

    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Mr. Chatzky is truly superb at his job. His knowledge base is profound, and he approached my situation with honesty and integrity. I knew immediately that he had every intention to obtain the best outcome for me and that he had thought of every possi...

    Read more

    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    I highly recommend Paul Chatzky as a high capable and honest attorney who genuinely cares about his clients and is highly committed to supporting their best interests. He lived up to the high expectations that I had and was willing as hard as me to m...

    Read more

    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Paul Chatzky is always very responsive, professional, and a pleasure to work with.

    Read more

    Client

See all reviews
AWARDS
Contact us

Quick Contact Form