The new Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act which went into effect as of January 1, 2016 saw many changes from the old statute. One of the changes that was set forth in the Act was regarding parenting time. Prior to the new act, parenting time (or visitation) was modifiable at any time when it was in the best interests of the minor child(ren). However, an award of “Custody” was not modifiable for two (2) years after entry of the final Judgment, unless one could show a serious endangerment to the minor children. Under the new Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act effective January 1, 2016, both an Allocation Judgment as well as parenting time are not modifiable for two (2) years, absent certain exceptions. This means that for any parenting time schedules entered during 2016, they could not be altered unless one could prove a serious endangerment, or other certain exceptions to this stringent rule.
However, a new version of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act is set to become effective as of January 1, 2017, and it addresses this issue. The new version of the Act makes it clear that parenting plans can be modified within the two (2) year period after entry, as to parenting time. Minor changes will be allowed as well. This is a relief for people who may have entered into a parenting time schedule and not realized that they could not modify it under the 2016 version of the Act.