Issues pertaining to child custody can be complicated matters to resolve. When making a decision regarding child custody, the court is obligated to rule in the best interest of the child, even if one or both parents are not content with the terms. However, divorced Illinois parents who are unhappy with the child custody order that is in place and have a valid reason for wanting the order modified should be aware of what it takes.

A parent wanting to change a custody order that has already been established may ask the original court to amend the order. A request for modification for a final custody order may be asked only if there have been significant changes in circumstances since the issuance of the order and if modifying it would be in the best interest of the child. Qualifying changes in circumstances may include new allegations of abuse or a parent being convicted of a crime and the resulting punishment may interfere with his or her parenting ability.

When a court has jurisdiction over a custody order, the court will retain that jurisdiction, even if a parent relocates to another state. The relocated parent may ask the court for a change in jurisdiction to the new state in which he or she resides. In some situations, the parent may request the modification of an order of the court in the new state without having to return to the original state.

A family law attorney may advise a parent about what type of extenuating circumstances may require a child custody modification request. If necessary, the attorney may advocate on the client’s behalf during court hearings.