Anderson & Boback Logo

Modifying the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities- Part Two: Decision-Making

Categorized as Child Custody & Visitation

As discussed in Part One of Modifying the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities, many people are familiar with the terminology “custody” and “visitation” when thinking of child-related issues in dissolution and parentage matters. However, those are outdated terms. As of January 1, 2016, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) began using “allocation of parental responsibilities” instead. Parental responsibilities include parenting time and significant decision-making responsibilities. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the definitions for “parenting time” and “significant decision-making” prior to filing any pleadings seeking a modification of an existing Parenting Plan or Allocation Judgment. The definitions can be found in 750 ILCS 5/600.

To modify an existing Parenting Plan or Allocation Judgment specifically regarding decision-making responsibilities, you must first refer to 750 ILCS 5/610.5.

Generally, a Motion to Modify Decision-Making Responsibilities may not be filed earlier than two (2) years after the Parenting Plan or Allocation Judgment was entered. However, if a party believes that the child’s present environment may seriously endanger the child’s mental, moral, or physical health or significantly impair the child’s emotional development, then party may file a Motion to Modify. The motion must be supported by affidavit.

If a Motion to Modify Decision-Making Responsibilities is filed after the two-year mark, as mentioned above, the court will modify the existing Parenting Plan or Allocation Judgment if doing so serves the best interests of the child.  The Court must find by a preponderance of the evidence that a substantial change has occurred in the circumstances of the child or of either parent. This means that you must provide convincing evidence to the Court that proves the change in circumstances warrants a modification of the existing Parenting Plan or Allocation Judgment, so that the child’s best interests are properly served.  Remember that the substantial change in circumstances must have occurred after the entry of the existing Parenting Plan or Allocation Judgment. Also, the substantial change in circumstances must not have been anticipated prior to the entry of the existing Parenting Plan or Allocation Judgment.

Pursuant to Section 610.5(e), there are a few exceptions to the requirement of showing changed circumstances. Just as discussed in Part One, the parents may agree to modify the existing Parenting Plan or Allocation Judgment. As long as the proposed modification is in the child’s best interests, it is likely that the Court would grant the modification request.

Another exception is when the modification request reflects the actual arrangement under which the child has been receiving care, without parental objection, for the six (6) months immediately preceding the filing of the Motion to Modify.

If you are interested in seeking a modification to your existing Parenting Plan or Allocation Judgment it is recommended that you speak to a qualified attorney.

Was this information helpful?

You May Also Like

A cohabitation agreement is an agreement or contract entered into between two people living together in the same household who are in a romantic relationship but not married. With more millennial couples choosing to live together, whether planning to marry…

When going through a divorce it's not uncommon to think "I never want to get married again!" But later, you may fall in love again and be ready to venture into marriage again. If you are planning to remarry, you…

While doing an initial consultation with an individual looking to get divorced, I have found it is common to get questions about whether it is possible for a divorcing couple to work together with an attorney to do a collaborative…

No one likes to pay spousal maintenance (formally called "alimony" or referred to as spousal support). When you are employed and your ex refuses to work, there is a greater reluctance to want to pay maintenance. In Chicago divorces, there…

Finding the best child custody lawyer in Chicago may seem like a daunting and intimidating process if you have never been involved in a legal dispute. This is especially true when it comes to a custody case involving your children…

Parenting disputes, and accusations of being a bad or unfit parent, are extremely common in the world of divorce, juvenile, and family law. Many parents enter the courtroom with a laundry list of accusations of poor parenting against the other…

Anderson & Boback small logo

Download our Divorce Planning Guide today!

Get the information you need to prepare for divorce with our free resource Guide to Planning for Your Divorce.

What our clients are saying

Why Choose

Schedule a Discreet Consultation Today!

    Firm Overview

    Anderson & Boback is a highly-respected, experienced Chicago family law firm, skilled in negotiation and litigation. When divorce and other family law issues make your life chaotic and uncertain, you want your case resolved as quickly and fairly as possible. Call Now 312-715-0870