Illinois allocation of parenting responsibilities, formerly known as custody, refers to parenting time and the authority to make significant decisions regarding minor children such as religious upbringing or education.
When a divorce is finalized, an Allocation Judgement will be entered either by agreement or by a judge’s ruling, which will set forth the parenting time schedule and whether both or just one parent will be responsible for making important decisions on the child’s behalf. Sometimes parents agree to divide responsibilities, where one parent handles decisions regarding school for example, while the other parent makes decisions regarding religious activities. Although the Allocation Judgement is a final and an enforceable court order, there are times when one or both parties want a modification to a parenting agreement due to changes in their circumstances or concerns for the well-being of a child.
Modification to Illinois Allocation of Parental Responsibilities
Circumstances change after a divorce is finalized and sometimes parents want to make changes to the allocation of parenting responsibilities. If both parents agree to the modification, generally speaking, an allocation judgement can be modified by agreement as long as it is in the child’s best interests. If however, one parent objects to the modifying an existing order, the parent who wishes to make changes must file a Petition to Modify Allocation of Parental Responsibilities.
If it is just a matter of changing the parenting time schedule, it is possible to bring a Petition immediately if there has been a substantial change of circumstances since the original judgement. If, however, it is a matter of modifying the allocation of decision-making responsibilities (formerly known as legal custody), the parent must wait two years after the Judgement was entered to file a petition unless he or she believes that there is a serious risk to the child’s well-being that requires more immediate action.
After the two year period, a parent must demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances when seeking a modification or, that a modification would be in the best interests of the child based on certain conditions such as changes that more accurately reflect the actual living arrangement of the child that both parents are on board with, or a modification involving a situation where all circumstances were not known to the court at the time the allocation of parental responsibilities was approved.
If you are very concerned about the well-being of your child in a shared parenting time arrangement, it is important to discuss your concerns with an experienced family law attorney. There are often situations involving a parent’s drug or alcohol abuse, for example, that may require a more immediate intervention because of the risk it poses to a child. In cases where a parent is struggling with addiction, the court may order the parent to undergo drug testing and treatment and perhaps participate in supervised visits until a determination is made regarding the best interests of a child with regard to the allocation of parental responsibilities, which may culminate in a modification of the order.
Do You Need to Modify Allocation of Parental Responsibilities?
Contact an Experienced Illinois Family Law Attorney For Help
When you have questions regarding a petition to modify allocation of parental responsibilities, contact an Illinois divorce and parenting time modification attorney at Schlesinger & Strauss for help today at 847-680-4970.