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What are Grounds for Custody Modification in the State of Illinois?

Understanding Grounds for Custody Modification in Illinois

Family figure and gavel

Changes happen daily; sometimes we expect them, and sometimes we don’t. A change like a divorce can be traumatizing for everyone involved, including children.

The battle over who should stay with the child becomes heated after divorce and disagreements can require legal interference. Once the judge has issued a child custody decree, changing it becomes challenging. Before filing a petition, one must prove that grounds for custody modification exist.

An experienced attorney’s help can go a long way in helping your case. Our family law attorneys at Petrelli Previtera, LLC can help you with anything you want to know about child custody modification.

Laws and Grounds for Custody Modification in Illinois

According to Illinois law, a parent can only seek custody modification after two years once the court has determined custody arrangements. However, the parent must provide clear and convincing proof that there is a substantial change in circumstances making child custody modification in the child’s best interest.

A substantial change of circumstances could be:

  • Financial loss through either job loss, loss of income or wages, or unforeseen expenses
  • When one of the parents remarries
  • The need to move to a different state
  • An injury that leads to loss of income or ability to work

If a child custody modification petition is filed within two years, providing evidence of a change in circumstances is insufficient. The parent must provide proof along with affidavits that the child is:

  • Seriously endangered either emotionally, physically, or psychologically with the current living arrangements
  • Developing social issues because of the custodial parent
  • At risk because the custodial parent is living with a convicted sex offender
  • Or has been abused sexually
  • Declining in terms of school performance or any extracurricular activities
  • Left alone following the imprisonment of the custodial parent

The court will only make determinations in the best interest of the child according to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act.

How do I Modify Child Custody in Illinois?

As long as it is in the child’s best interest, the judge can agree to modify custody arrangements if both parents agree. However, if one parent objects, the other will have to undergo several steps for the child custody to be changed. The steps are:

  1. Wait two years to file the case unless in exceptional circumstances
  2. File the petition through a family law attorney in the location the child custody decree was issued
  3. Mediation process. The parents must try to resolve the matters before appearing in court. During this process, you will meet with the other parents together with your attorneys to try to resolve the matter
  4. Trial. If there is no mutual agreement, the case will proceed to court. The judge will make a determination based on the provided evidence and in the child’s interest.

How Much Does Child Modification Cost in Illinois?

The cost of modifying child custody arrangements varies depending on your location. The total cost includes fees for the attorney, court, and filing of the petition.

Get Top Rated Attorneys on Your Side

Child custody disagreements resulting from divorce are complex. We can help create a plan for all the issues that may arise during a child modification process, including accessing child information, their upbringing, and visitation.

The mission of Petrelli Previtera, LLC is to bring clarity in the midst of divorce chaos. As one of the highest-rated firms, we will make your case our priority. We put our all into helping our clients’ cases, from complex litigation to negotiated agreements.

Our offices are located in various parts of the country. We offer video consultations so that you can discuss the grounds for custody modification cases remotely before visiting us.

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I just want to say GREAT JOB! She is a no nonsense professional with years of experience that qualifies her as a skilled Family Law attorney. She is seasoned, sensitive, and most of all she cares. She made things easy for me. Definitely recommend!

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Overall I was pleased with the results of my divorce case. The entire Petrelli Previtera, LLC team truly cares about their clients. Luckily for me, I was paired up with an amazing team helping all the way. If you happen to work with this firm and with the lawyers you’ll be in great hands. It was such an excellent service and it was beyond I expected.

A Family Law Client Chevy Chase , MD