There are many reasons why you could feel displeased with the terms of the parenting plan in your Illinois divorce. Maybe you were going through some legal issues or professional ones, like military deployment, at the time of the divorce that prevented you from fully asserting your parental rights. Perhaps you had to deal with depression after your divorce and stick up for yourself when it came to custody proceedings. You might have struggled to find permanent housing.
Now, you have come to realize that you don't have nearly enough time with your children, and you are quite unhappy with the current situation. The good news is that you may be able to pursue a modification of the original court order that allocates more parental responsibilities to you. The original court order is changeable if you follow procedure and request a special modification hearing.
Modifications help your parenting plan change with your family
Your circumstances will shift and change throughout your adult life as you move residences, change jobs and start or end relationships. Any of these individual factors could leave you in a position where you don't feel like you can fulfill all of your parental responsibilities. They could also put a lot of strain on you and your children.
However, when life is stable, you may be able to revisit what parental rights and responsibilities you received in the divorce. If the final order allocates far more time and rights to your ex, you may be able to seek a modification of the order that splits things up more evenly between you for the benefit of your children.
A modification involves going to the court and asking them to officially change the terms of your divorce. A successful modification can secure you more time with your children and help you rebuild your relationship.
You may need to document your changed life circumstances
Depending on the reason why the courts gave your ex more parental rights and responsibilities than you, there will be many strategies that you can take in court. From showing that you have undergone counseling to providing documentation of a rehabilitation program for an addiction, there are many ways to demonstrate your improved capacity to fulfill your parental responsibilities.
Documentation of income, as well as a lease showing that you have space for parenting time with your children, can also help your case. Your attorney can look over the original court orders allocating parental rights and responsibilities to determine what strategy would be most effective in a modification hearing.
The most important step is deciding that you want to assert your rights as a parent and beginning the process of convincing the courts that you deserve to spend more time with your children.