You've survived divorce. In fact, you not only survived but are well on your way to a successful and happy future. You may be like other parents in Illinois who are looking forward to the upcoming holidays and planning all sorts of special activities to build new memories with your kids.
Perhaps everything has been going just fine, that is, until a disagreement arises regarding your request for modification of your existing visitation order. You may have been surprised that your request was met with contention.
After all, you're not the first person ever to ask for changes in a child custody or other existing court order. It happens all the time.
Reasons others have requested modifications
There are many situations that lead parents to ask for changes in allocation of parental responsibilities, child custody or visitation agreements. You might relate to one or more of the following:
- Employment change: A job change may involve a change in income, a change in time schedule or any number of other changes that directly affect your ability to fulfill an existing agreement.
- Relocation: Perhaps you used to live a few streets away from your children. Now, you've moved to a new home and it's very far away from where your kids live. This obviously would bear a significant impact on your ability to travel back and forth for visits.
- New spouse: If you have recently remarried, you may need to ask for visitation modifications in order to accommodate your new family situation.
- Military service: If you've been called to active duty in the military, you will obviously need to request changes in your current visitation agreement if it doesn't already address or include what is to happen if you are deployed.
These are just a few of many reasons you or another parent may need to ask for changes in a child custody order or visitation agreement. Often, cooperation and compromise are key factors toward obtaining amicable solutions.
What if outside support is needed?
If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed by your current situation, it may help to discuss the issue with an experienced family law advocate. There are many things an attorney can do to help you, such as:
- Review your paperwork to make sure you have filled out everything correctly
- Help you establish a plan to present your request to the court in a way that clearly demonstrates the need for a change in your agreement
- Act on your behalf to negotiate a new parenting plan with your former spouse
- Represent you in court if the situation must be litigated
Like other parents in Illinois who have faced similar situations in the past, you may be trying very hard to keep your children's best interests at heart when asking the court to modify your existing visitation order.
The court is typically of the opinion that your children are best off when they are provided ample time with both parents unless extenuating circumstances show just cause why this type of arrangement would not be in their best interests.
Therefore, any request for change you make in order to maintain frequent contact and a strong, healthy relationship with your children will be considered a priority by an attorney to whom you may reach out for support.