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Child custody is one of the most important considerations in any divorce proceeding. Often, after custody is originally determined, events will occur that require changes to the arrangement. Illinois law sets up certain rules that must be followed when a parent seeks to modify custody. Thus, it is important to have a capable Chicago child custody lawyer on your side to ensure that your and your child’s interests are protected. In Illinois areas such as Cook, DuPage, Lake, and Will Counties, you can count on Taradash Given, P.C. to provide you with the dedicated representation you need.
As a general rule, parents may not request a modification of a previous custody judgment unless two years have passed. However, if there is evidence that the current situation may present a serious danger to a child’s physical, mental, emotional, or moral health, a motion to modify custody may be made at any time.
When determining whether to modify a previous custody judgment, an Illinois court will require clear and convincing evidence that there has been a change in circumstances that requires a modification of custody. Furthermore, the court will only modify custody if it serves the best interests of the child. Illinois law has a very high standard for modifying custody, due to the emotional instability that changes in custody can cause in children.
When determining the best interests of the child, a court in Illinois will try to balance several relevant factors. These may include:
The factors listed above are not exclusive. A court may consider additional factors it deems relevant to the best interests of the child.
If both parents agree to terminate a joint custody arrangement, a court will modify custody based on its determination of the child’s best interests. If one parent attempts to modify custody, but the court determines that the attempt was brought as an attempt to harass the other parent, attorneys’ fees and costs may be awarded to the other parent.
If the situation has changed in the two years since your custody judgment was entered, or you have reason to believe current circumstances present a serious danger to your child’s health, you may be entitled to a custody modification. Let an accomplished Chicago family law attorney help you. At Taradash Given, P.C., we know how to guide you through this complex process. Fill out our online form or call (312) 775-1020 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our qualified attorneys.