After all the time spent hammering out a child custody agreement in Illinois, there may come a time when parents need to alter that order.
Here are some reasons the court may modify the custody order.
Child’s best interests
According to the Illinois General Assembly, the court keeps the best interests of the child in mind when considering any custody agreement modification. The court may reject an agreed-upon modification if it determines that it does not serve the child’s best interests.
The court holds the child’s needs as its greatest concern. A stable, healthy home is essential for the well-being of the child. If a parent creates an environment that is unhealthy and unstable, the court may consider a modification to a custody order.
Behavior can harm a child physically or mentally. The court evaluates parental behavior to ensure it does not cause harm. Common negative behaviors include disrupting the other parent’s visitation time or failing to get along.
Substantial circumstance change
FindLaw mentions a change in parental circumstance as a common reason for a request to modify the custody order. However, unless it is an emergency, a year must pass since the last order before the court will entertain the request.
A judge may grant a modification order when one parent does not abide by the original custody agreement, relocates or dies. Modifications may also happen when one parent fails to see their child during his or her scheduled time. These are a few examples of a substantial change in circumstances that may warrant a change in the agreement.