In Illinois, parents of one or more children who are getting divorced or are not living together will typically create a formal plan about parenting time and childcare. Parents may be able to modify a parenting plan if there is a change in circumstances that affects their ability to spend time with their children or carry out other parental responsibilities.
A new plan or an amendment to a plan helps assure that children continue to receive the care that they need. Here are some things that parents should know about how to modify a parenting plan.
Parents may request a mediation session
Ideally, parents who are not living together should try to reach a mutual agreement about childcare in order to co-parent as effectively as possible. A mediation session should generally be the first step before a court hearing so that parents can have an open dialog about what needs to change.
Parents may petition a court for modification
If parents cannot reach an agreement, they may make a motion to a court to modify a parenting plan. At the hearing, they will need to testify or present evidence about why the modification is necessary. Examples of reasons to alter a plan may include a change in working hours, a new living situation, or a medical condition.
Ultimately, parenting plans need to work well for parents and also promote their children’s best interest. If parents have serious concerns that an existing plan is not working well, they should seek a modification rather than struggle with a situation that is difficult to manage.