Having parental responsibilities means making important decisions for a child, and spending time with them. This used to be called "custody," but that term is no longer used in Illinois.
Changing parental responsibilities
A parent can change their parental responsibilities even if the other parent doesn't agree. However, the process is much easier if both parents agree to the change.
An agreement is when both parents understand and agree to all the changes to the parental responsibilities order. This could include:
- The child moves in with a different parent;
- A different parent is making the day-to-day decisions about the child;
- A different parent has to pay child support;
- How the parents spend time with the child (parenting time) changes;
- How the child is raised is decided differently; and
- Be sure you understand how any changes in parental responsibilities will affect your duties as a parent.
Even if the parents agree, they must file court papers to ask the judge to change parental responsibilities for it to be legal. They will be able to make the change more quickly than parents who do not agree.
If you and the other parent agree to the change, you can change parental responsibilities at any time. If you do not agree, you must wait 2 years after the original parental responsibilities order before changing decision-making responsibilities. The only exception is if the child is in danger. You can ask to change parenting time at any time.
If the other parent doesn't agree with the change, you have to prove to the judge that things have changed since the current order was signed. The difference must be significant, like that the other parent has relocated. However, if the change you're asking for is small, or reflects the way the child has been living for the past 6 months, you don't have to show that circumstances have changed.
Updated: April 2018