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When Should I Update My Illinois Parenting Time Schedule?

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Arlington Heights parenting time lawyerAfter a divorce, maintaining a consistent parenting time schedule is important both for the sake of the children’s routine and in order to be fair to both parents. However, as time goes on, the schedule established during the divorce process may become outdated and no longer serve your family’s needs. It is often a good idea to periodically reconsider the parenting time schedule and determine whether any modifications would be beneficial.

What is the Legal Process for Modifying Parenting Time?

Depending on the situation, parenting time can be one of the simpler elements of a divorce resolution to modify. Illinois courts will consider a petition from either parent for minor parenting time modifications at any time after the divorce, or more significant modifications after there has been a change of circumstances. If you and your former spouse agree to a modification, the process can be even more streamlined, as you can work together to create and file a petition. As long as the court finds that the modifications are in your children’s best interests, they will likely be approved.

Reasons to Make a Change

Although parenting time modifications may be possible at any time, it is still important to carefully consider whether it is the right time to make a change. Modifications may be sensible under a variety of circumstances, including:

  • A change in the children’s school and activity schedules. If, for example, the original schedule was established when your children were quite young, you may find that it needs updating after they begin spending more time at school and start getting involved in different extracurricular activities.

  • A change in the parents’ work schedules. When a parent’s work schedule shifts to interfere with parenting time, it may be necessary to adjust the parenting schedule to allow them to maintain a strong relationship with the children. Alternatively, if a parent’s schedule becomes more flexible, it could be a good idea to increase their share of parenting time.

  • A change in the children’s preferences. As children get older, they may be more vocal and opinionated when it comes to how they want to divide their time between their parents’ homes, whether because of the living environment, their relationship with each parent, proximity to friends and social activities, or other reasons.

  • A parent’s move to a new location. Any time a parent moves, it is important to consider how the children will adjust to the new home, as well as how it will impact their travel between homes, to school and to other activities. Moves within a close distance may only require minor changes to the schedule, whereas more distant or out-of-state relocations may require a complete overhaul.

Of course, if you learn that your child is in danger while spending time with the other parent, it is important to pursue a modification as soon as possible, potentially including restrictions on that parent’s time. In such a case, you will likely need to prepare for a contested court case and gather strong evidence to support the need for change.

Contact an Arlington Heights Parenting Time Attorney

If you need to update your parenting time schedule for any reason, a Rolling Meadows post-divorce modification lawyer can help you follow the correct process. At the Cosley Law Office, we will work to ensure that your agreement meets the needs of you and your children. Contact us at 847-253-3100 to request a free consultation today.




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