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Child custody cases can be some of the most contentious family law matters. Parents arguing about where their child will live and who will make important parenting decisions can lead to a fierce legal battle. Once a final custody order is granted, the court’s decision is final and enforceable. However, in some cases, a parent or the child’s needs require a change in the custody structure. If you want to modify a child custody order in DuPage County, there are three things you should know.
Which Court to Ask?
Illinois, along with 48 other states and the District of Columbia, has enacted a law titled the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). This law states that a court in the child’s home state (where the child has lived for the past six months) has exclusive jurisdiction over child custody matters. In other words, the courts in the home state are the only courts that can grant or modify a child custody order. If a parent wants to change custody, he or she has to ask the court with the authority to do so. An experienced custody lawyer can help you determine where the appropriate court is.
Substantial Changes Are Required
Once a parent has figured out the appropriate court, there are certain criteria they must prove when filing for a custody modification. First and foremost, any custody change will be evaluated with the child’s best interests in mind. Second, the parent must demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances. It is not enough for a parent to prove he or she wants a change. There must be a substantial change of circumstances that warrant a modification in custody. The judge has already granted an order; he or she will not change that order without a good reason to do so.
Know What You Are Asking For
When you file a petition asking a judge to modify custody, you need to know exactly what you are asking for. Do you want to change the visitation schedule? Do you want to change legal custody? Do you want your child’s living arrangements to change? Take time and think about the specific modifications you want. Then, your skilled family law attorney can help you present your request to the court.
Contact DuPage County Custody LawyersAt Martoccio & Martoccio, we understand Illinois’s complicated child custody laws. Family law is constantly evolving, so are we are vigilant about keeping up with these legal changes. We know that every custody case is different, and we will help you do what is best for you and your child. Our experienced DuPage County family law attorneys have a unique client-centered approach, which always puts our clients’ goals first. To discuss your custody modification case with a lawyer today, contact our firm. Free, same-day initial consultation appointments are available.