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Kane County Divorce: Modifying a Child Custody (Allocation) Order

In Illinois, child custody (now called allocations of parenting time and decision making) can be modified through the courts if there is a substantial change in circumstances that warrants a modification. In general, the modification will be sought after two years has expired from the original judgment, but some cases allow for a modification before two years if the issues presented are serious, or if the changes are moderate and needed to serve the interests of the child(ren).


Here are the basic steps:

  1. File a Petition in Kane County: The process begins by filing a petition with the court requesting a modification of child custody. This petition should outline the reasons and changes that have occurred in the child’s life or circumstances of the parent(s) for the requested modification, and any supporting evidence.
  2. Serve the Other Party: Once the petition is filed, the other party (usually the other parent) must be formally served with a copy of the petition and given the opportunity to appear in court and respond to the allegations.
  3. Mediation: In most cases, the court will require mediation with a Kane County attorney/mediator to attempt to resolve the parenting dispute through the mediation process. If mediation is unsuccessful, the case will then likely be assigned to a guardian ad litem to investigate the circumstances of the parents and the child(ren).
  4. Court Hearing: If the parties cannot reach an agreement through mediation, a court hearing will be scheduled. During the hearing, both parties will present evidence and arguments to support their positions. In many cases, the recommendations of the GAL will be weighed and adopted by the judge in determining the changes, if any, that serve the best interests of the child(ren).
  5. Best Interest of the Child: In deciding whether to modify custody, the court will consider the best interests of the child. Factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, the child’s adjustment to their current living situation, the parents’ ability to cooperate, and any instances of abuse or neglect will be taken into account.
  6. Court Order: After considering all the evidence, the court will issue a ruling either granting or denying the requested modification of custody. If the modification is granted, the court will issue a new parenting allocations order outlining the terms of the new arrangement.


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