Once custody determinations have been made by the court, it is not easy to obtain a custody modification. Courts seek to maintain the stability in children’s lives. There are different standards for winning a modification petition depending upon whether or not the petition seeking modification is filed within two years of the original custody determination. It is substantially harder to win a modification petition within two years of the original custody determination.
As a child custody attorney, I and this firm will zealously represent clients who are both seeking and opposing modifications of child custody arrangements. If you are involved in a child custody modification, please call me so that I can learn about your case and advise you as to the law in Illinois concerning child custody modification.
In Illinois, if the petition seeking modification is filed after two years of the original custody determination, the parent seeking the modification must prove by clear and convincing evidence that a substantial change in circumstances makes a modification in custody in the best interests of the children.
If the petition seeking modification is filed within two years of the original custody determination, a showing of change in circumstances alone is insufficient to win a modification petition. There must be evidence supported by affidavits that the children are physically, mentally, morally, or emotionally seriously endangered. The court need not find the endangerment is proven by clear and convincing evidence, but alternatively that there is reason to believe the children’s current environment may endanger them.
Unfortunately, Judges are people like you and me, and thus we cannot predict how child custody modifications will be resolved. Sometimes facts following the divorce show that a different child custody resolution would have been more beneficial, or the custodial parent’s ability to properly care for the children diminishes due to unexpected changes in circumstances such as mental illness, health issues, or a host of other factors. Sometimes, non-custodial parents will simply refuse to accept the court’s custody decision and attempt to “continue the fight.” No matter which side you are on, we know the law and will aggressively fight to protect your custody rights.
If you are interested in other aspects of child custody that may pertain to your situation, please read the materials on our website at the following links: