Some Illinois parents find that they need to alter the child custody order after completing the divorce. They would do this by requesting a modification from the court. While it does require some effort, obtaining a custody modification is possible.

The best interests standard is used

Any issue that the court decides that affects your child will use the same test. The court will look at whether the modification that you are requesting is in the child’s best interests. This is a very flexible test that can involve many factors. The gist of it is always the same. The court is looking more at how changes impact the children’s lives as opposed to the convenience of the parent.

When you would request a modification

Something must have changed from the time of the initial custody agreement, or the last modification, for the court to consider a new request. This could involve circumstances like a parent’s relocation. Another common reason for a modification request is that one parent may not be following the current custody agreement. You may need to modify the agreement to ensure compliance without having to go down the road of contempt of court. The best thing to do first is to have a conversation with the other parent so you can possibly avoid going to court.

If you are considering whether to file for a modification to the custody agreement, consult with a family law attorney. You would need to make a persuasive case to the court why you should receive the modification, and the attorney could best present your arguments. Similarly, if your ex is requesting a modification, an attorney could protect your interests if you oppose the modification.