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Modifying the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Surprised Woman Reading Legal Documents in a Restaurant

While the allocation of parental responsibilities is finalized with an Allocation Judgement entered in a divorce or parentage case, this enforceable court order is modifiable under certain circumstances. However, there is a specific process that must be followed.

Surprised Woman Reading Legal Documents in a Restaurant

If two parents agree to a change of parental responsibilities, they can make these modifications at any time. If they don’t agree, modifications cannot be made until two years after the initial parental responsibilities order was finalized, unless the wellbeing of the child is at stake. When parents don’t agree, it will need to proven to a judge that new circumstances warrant a modification. Here are steps to take when attempting to make parental responsibility changes.

Retrieve the Existing Parental Responsibilities Order

To make changes, the parent should obtain the existing parental responsibility order. This order includes the date of the order, the arrangement between both parents, the case number, the parenting schedule, who pays child support, and the dollar amount and frequency of the support.

Fill Out Forms for Modifications

Once a parent has obtained the original order, he or she must fill out parental responsibility modification forms and make two copies of each. These forms include:

  • Notice of Motion
  • Motion to Modify Parental Responsibilities
    Child Support forms
  • Affidavit if the original order was signed less than two years prior
  • File Forms with the Court

Next, the parent should file the Affidavits and Motion with the office of the Circuit Clerk where the original allocation was first decided and pay court filing fees or obtain waivers.

Inform the Other Parent

After filing for modifications, the parent must inform the other party by mailing a stamped copy of the the motion, affidavit and hearing date. A stamped Certificate of Mailing should be sent as well.

Attend the Hearing

On the day of the scheduled hearing, the parent who filed for changes should explain these modifications to the judge. After both parents have spoken, the judge will then make a decision based on the best interests of the child(ren). Many times multiple court dates are required before a matter is resolved.

Prepare an Order Following the Hearing

Following each court appearance, the parent who requested modification should prepare an order that details what occurred in court and what will follow. He or she should then give it to the clerk and wait for a stamped copy signed by the judge.

Uncontested divorce lawyer Denise Erlich is passionate about helping divorcing couples in the greater Chicagoland area transition to their new life as seamlessly as possible. Ms. Erlich patiently guides her clients through every step of the divorce process and provides clients with candid advice about their case and legal options, so they can make informed decisions about their future.

Years of Experience: More than 20 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: Illinois State Bar Association U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
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