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When your child custody arrangement no longer works

Divorcing the mother or father of your children was difficult, but you did it. A child custody order was issued and the plan put into action right away. At the time, it was a good fit for your family. Now, however, you feel it is no longer working. What can you do?

In Illinois, it is possible to seek a child custody modification. There are two ways to go about doing that. Both require court approval, though, before you can put a new custody plan into action.

Option number one

Family courts do like it when parents can come to terms regarding child custody on their own or with the assistance of legal counsel or a mediator. If you wish to seek a custody modification, you can first try to discuss the matter with your ex. If you both agree to new terms, the modification requires court approval. If approved, the updated arrangement can begin immediately.

Option number two

If you and your ex are not on speaking terms or your ex disagrees with your request to modify the custody order, you can take the matter to court. If you do this, you need to be prepared to explain to a judge why you think a modification is necessary, what changes you would like to see and why you feel these changes would benefit your children. Your ex will get to express his or her concerns at the hearing on the matter as well.

A judge will only grant a modification if there is a valid reason for the adjustment. Some common reasons parents might request custody modifications include:

  • Relocation
  • Concerns over a children's welfare
  • Other parent ignoring current custody plan

No matter the reason for your request, if you feel it will serve your children's best interests, it is worth pursuing the adjustment.

It is all about the kids

At the end of the day, a child custody plan is all about the kids -- as it should be. What living arrangement will help your children flourish? What visitation schedule will benefit the parent-child relationship? What custody arrangement will help your children feel safe, stable and secure? With a little assistance, you can take the steps to seek a custody adjustment if you feel it is necessary for the physical and emotional well-being of your children.

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