Your Family Matters

When can Illinois parents ask for more parenting time?

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2023 | family law

Both divorced and unmarried parents in Illinois may eventually be subject to a custody order. When adults living separately have minor children, the courts can approve a custody order dividing parental rights and responsibilities between the two adults.

It is quite common for both adults in a family to feel disappointed with the amount of time they have with their children under a custody order. Sometimes, one parent may have far more time with the children than the other due to one adult’s financial instability or other factors. When can a parent go back to court to ask for more time?

They likely need to wait two years

The law in Illinois permits a parent who feels dissatisfied with custody terms to ask the courts to revisit prior custody determinations. They can ask a judge to reconsider the division of parenting time and decision-making authority.

However, the circumstances need to meet one of two standards for adults to obtain a modification hearing. The first is when there is evidence that the current arrangements put the children at risk. Otherwise, the adult requesting a custody modification will need to show a change in circumstances and wait at least two years.

Improving one’s circumstances, possibly by obtaining a better job or going to therapy, can be a change that warrants a request for increased time with the children. So can changes to someone’s schedule. Other parents may be able to quickly modify a custody order by securing the consent of the other parent and requesting an uncontested modification.

Learning about the laws that determine the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities may help adults currently subject to a custody order. Having legal guidance is important.