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When Can I Adjust My Parenting Plan?In every divorce involving children, parenting plans must be formulated. Parenting plans, commonly known as custody arrangements, divide responsibilities between each parent. They define responsibilities such as the time each parent is scheduled to spend with their child, who should be the one taking the child to medical visits, and which house the child will reside in. These are just a few of the many responsibilities required of a parent as well as those that are defined under parenting plans. While parenting plans are legally in place until the child turns 18 years old, it is almost impossible for them to last that long without a need for adjustments – situations change and so do children’s needs. 

Which Situations Warrant an Adjustment?

As with any legally-binding contract, there must be legitimate proof that an adjustment is necessary. Judges do not simply change parenting plans for the convenience of the parent. There are certain situations that will allow, and even prompt, judges to modify a family’s arrangement. The following are common examples:

  • The child is not safe, especially in their residence;
  • A parent is moving or relocating;
  • The child is older and has asked for adjustments to be made;
  • A parent’s work schedule has changed, affecting their ability or flexibility to care for the child;
  • The family’s situation has changed, specifically their financial stability; and/or
  • Their current arrangement is not being followed.

Some families have a combination of the circumstances mentioned above, while others have different reasons altogether. Regardless, each decision is situational and is dependent on the child’s best interests.

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modification, Lombard child support lawyersWhether you make or receive court-ordered payments of child support, you probably realize how much your children depend upon compliance with the order. As time goes by, however, an order may become out of sync with your child’s needs or your own financial situation. Fortunately, Illinois law provides several scenarios in which a modification of a child support order may be appropriate.

Substantial Change in Circumstances

Assuming that you pay child support, dramatic changes in your life or the life of your child can, obviously, affect your ability to make payments or the amount of support needed to truly help your child. For example, if you are injured in car accident, you may not be able to work for a time, making compliance with your support nearly impossible. Similarly, if your child is diagnosed with a serious medical condition, he or she may require additional support to help subsidize medical treatment. According to the law, a child support order can be reviewed for modification "upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances."

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