There are many reasons that parents may wish to modify their allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody) order, but can a parent really change a court order once it has been entered? If so, under what circumstances? The following information may be able to provide guidance to those who wish to modify the allocation of parental responsibilities for their child.
Obtaining a Modification Is Often Difficult
The first and most basic element that a parent needs to understand about legal child-related issues is that nothing about the process – not the allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time, child support, or other provisions – is really about the parents. It is all designed to protect the well-being and best interests of the child. That said, it is the potential disruption to a child’s life that makes modifications to allocation of parental responsibility orders so difficult to achieve. In fact, it usually takes a substantial and significant situation to successfully modify an existing order.
Under What Circumstances Might a Modification Be Made?
Each individual case is unique, so it is impossible to say for certain whether or not a parent’s attempt at modification would be successful. However, there are situations in which a modification to the allocation of parental responsibilities might be considered justified. Generally, these cases contain some element that would suggest a child’s physical, emotional, mental, or moral well-being is somehow being placed at risk by the current order. Furthermore, these situations indicate that the child’s well-being would likely continue to be at risk under the current order.
If, for example, a parent continuously and consistently interferes with the other parent’s parenting time, despite action from the courts or law enforcement, a judge might move to change the existing order. Cases in which there is evidence of child abuse or severe neglect may also warrant a modification to the allocation of parental responsibilities. Still, the requesting parent is burdened with the task of providing proof of such allegations. Furthermore, if the requesting parent fails to provide such proof, their own parental rights could, in some cases, be placed at risk.
Pursuing a Post-Decree Modification
As a parent, you want to ensure that your child is cared for, protected, and loved. Sometimes, this means moving to modify a child-related court order. Never pursue this process alone. Instead, seek a family law attorney who is just as passionate about the well-being of your child as you are.
At Kezy & Associates, we recognize that a modification is sometimes necessary and in the best interest of the child. We will work hard to ensure that your concerns are heard, and we will fight to ensure that your child’s best interests are protected. Choose a firm that is willing to put your child’s needs above all else. Contact an experienced Will County family law attorney at our office and schedule a free, confidential consultation today.