Can I Change a Kane County Custody Plan Without Court Approval?
Parents who have busy schedules or frequent changes in schedule may wish to slightly modify their parenting agreement on an ad-hoc basis. If one parent has to work late, he or she may ask the other parent to keep the children for an extra night and take them to school the next morning. Likewise, if extended family comes into town one weekend, parents may agree to switch weekends on a one-time basis so the children can visit with their cousins or aunts and uncles.
As long as both parents agree to make minor changes from time to time, there usually is not a problem. However, frequent or repeated differences in parenting time can put parents at risk because unless a change in the parenting plan has been approved by an Illinois court, it is not legally binding and may even be unlawful.
Risks of Modifying a Parenting Plan Without Court Approval
Parents who struggle to communicate without conflict are at most risk of failing to make minor tweaks and adjustments in their plan from time to time. If you have a spouse who is litigious or who is willing to use the children to rehash old resentment, it is best to adhere strictly to your court-ordered parenting agreement. Failure to do so can result in a spouse who lodges a complaint with a court asking the court to require you to follow the order.
If the complaint is serious enough and a judge believes that a parent disobeyed a parenting agreement without good reason, the judge may hold that parent in contempt of court. An insistence that both parents verbally agreed to modify a parenting plan will probably not be an adequate defense against a custody enforcement request.
When Can I Change a Parenting Agreement in Illinois?
Formal modifications to parenting plans in Illinois can only be made if there is a substantial change in circumstances. Courts generally want to preserve the status quo and prevent unnecessary disruption in children’s lives, so parenting agreements are not changeable without good reason.
Substantial changes may include a parent who is working a job with a new schedule, a parent who has relocated or wants to relocate, a parent who is behaving in a way that endangers the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health, or a child whose needs have changed. When deciding whether to make changes to an existing parenting plan, the court will always consider the child’s best interests.
Meet with a Batavia, IL Parenting Agreement Lawyer
If you and your child’s other parent wish to make lasting changes to a custody arrangement, you may be able to do it more easily with the help of experienced Kane County child custody attorney Law Office of Van A. Larson, P.C. Mr. Larson has experience helping many parents modify their parenting agreements and has also helped first-time divorcees manage conflict so they can create a parenting plan that meets both parties’ needs. To learn more about what we can do for you, contact our offices today to schedule a free consultation. Call us at 630-879-9090.