Can I Increase My Parenting Time in Illinois?

 Posted on January 04, 2024 in Child Custody

St Charles Family Law AttorneyWhen parents end their marriage, their divorce settlement needs to include a parenting plan that covers several topics: Where will their children live? Who will pay child support? Which parent will be able to make which decisions for their child? One of the most difficult topics for divorcing parents to settle is parenting time. If you are unhappy with the parenting time arrangement from your divorce, a knowledgeable Kane County, IL, divorce lawyer can explain your options and help you figure out how to proceed.

How Is Parenting Time Decided?

The term parenting time, otherwise known as custody or visitation, describes the amount of time a child is with either of their parents. In most cases, the division of parental responsibilities in Illinois divorce settlements allows for both parents to have parenting time. The specifics of exactly how much time each parent gets is decided based on several factors, including:

  • The child’s best interests
  • The child’s wishes
  • The parents’ schedules and circumstances
  • Health issues that could affect either parent or the child, physically or mentally

 A lot of weight is placed on the child’s best interest. However, circumstances can change. A parent can work hard to improve their situation for the sake of their child’s interest, and if they can prove this has happened, they can certainly request a modification.

One parent may have been granted way less parenting time if they had an extremely demanding job, one with an unpredictable schedule, or a job that involved late night shifts. Any of these examples would make it hard to regularly pick the child up from school and take care of them throughout the evening. If that parent is now in a better employment situation with more flexibility and availability, this could be reasonable grounds for modifying the parenting time arrangement.

A parent with a drug addiction would likely be granted minimal or no parenting time. If that parent has managed to break their addiction and is now leading a clean, healthy, and stable life, it could also be a reason to request a parenting time modification.

On the other hand, there are situations where one parent’s circumstances deteriorate, and the other parent requests a modification so that their ex-spouse has little or no time with their child. If, for example, one parent develops a drug addiction or is moved into a job with less flexibility and a less stable schedule, they would likely be unable to provide the child with a safe and stable home. The other parent might appeal to the court to decrease their ex’s parenting time.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a St. Charles, IL Family Law Attorney

If you wish to modify your parenting plan and increase your parenting time, an experienced Kane County, IL, divorce lawyer can offer guidance and prepare you for the process. Please call Goostree Law Group at 630-584-4800 to schedule a free consultation so we can get started on advocating for your rights and interests.

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