In Illinois, child custody is divided into two parts: A parent’s decision-making authority and their parenting time. Those may be roughly even or divided in any way the court may deem best.
What if you don’t agree with the court’s decision?
If you feel that the court made an errant ruling in your case, here’s what you need to know:
- You may have to wait two years to get a new order.
Generally, the courts try to limit as much as possible the number of requests for parenting responsibility modifications. That keeps parents from continuously dragging each other back into court over trivial matters.
There is an exception, however. If your child’s environments could be mentally, physically or morally dangerous or would somehow limit their development, you can seek a modification before that two-year mark.
- The best interests of the child are always the basis for the court’s decision.
If you didn’t get the parenting authority or time you wanted before, it’s important to understand why the court’s decision went against you. That can help you overcome those objections the next time around.
Typically, if a child’s parents can agree on what’s best for their children, the court won’t get involved. When a judge has to make a decision, however, they will look at several factors, including things like the amount of conflict between the child’s parents, the child’s unique needs, the ability of each parent to provide for those needs, the child’s adjustment to their current environment, any safety issues posed by the environment or the people around the child and other factors.
If you really believe that a change in your parenting responsibilities or a reallocation of parenting time is warranted, don’t guess about what a judge may say. Speak to an attorney about your situation and discuss the best tactic to take.