Law for reference
The Two Year Moratorium: Your parental responsibility award may not be modified if it's less than two years old unless some circumstance allows an immediate modification of parenting responsibility. Once parental responsibility -- whether in an agreed Parenting Plan or Allocation Judgment -- a moratorium goes into effect and its modificaiton is prohibited for two years. The goal of the law is to achieve stability for the child. There are, however, a lot of exceptions and loopholes to the moratorium.
At any time: A Parental Responsibility award may be modified at any time:
if the parents agree to the modification (so long as their agreement serves the child's best interest) 750 ILCS 5/610.5 (a);
if the parties waive the two year moratorium by filing a joint stipulation waiving it 750 ILCS 5/610.5(a);
if the parties file cross-petitions to modify. The moratorium is waived if the parties file cross petitions to modify parental responsibility award. The cases refer to "joint custody agreements," but the legal analysis applies to the modern parental responsibility award.
Because each party filed a petition seeking sole custody, they effectively stipulated to terminate the joint-custody arrangement and agreed that a change in circumstances warranted awarding custody to only one of the parents. In re Marriage of Lasky, 176 Ill.2d 75, 81, 223 Ill.Dec. 27, 678 N.E.2d 1035, 1038 (1997); see also In re Marriage of Wycoff, 266 Ill.App.3d 408, 412, 203 Ill.Dec. 338, 639 N.E.2d 897, 901 (1994) (finding the change-in-circumstances clause allows a trial court to terminate a joint-custody agreement whenever it becomes apparent that the parents cannot cooperate in the child's best interests). Therefore, once both parties moved to terminate the joint-custody agreement (indicating a change of circumstances had occurred), the trial court, pursuant to section 610(b) [since abolished but largely replaced by 750 ILCS 5/610.5(c)], had to terminate the joint-custody arrangement and make any modification that was in the child's best interests.
In re: Marriage of Spent, 342 Ill.App.3d 643, 796 N.E.2d 191 (4th Dist., 2003).
if one of the parents marries or lives with a sex offender 750 ILCS 5/610.5(b);
if the child's present environment "seriously endangers" the child's mental, moral, or physical health 750 ILCS 5/610.5(a);
if the child's present environment significantly impairs the child's emotional development 750 ILCS 5/610.5(a).
After Two Years | Substantial Change: A parental responsibility award may be modified more than two years after the prior award if "a substantial change has occurred in the circumstances of the child or of either parent and that a modification is necessary to serve the child's best interest." (750 ILCS 5/610.5).
After Two Years | No Substantial Change: A parental responsibility award may be modified more than two years after the prior award WITHOUT a showing of a substantial change in circumstances if:
Have a Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for t he chance to help /
If you can positive rate 5 stars it is much appreciated.
the modification serves the child's best interest and it merely conforms the written agreement to the actual arrangment the parents have been using for the last six months (people do this ALL the time -- they get their court papers and then change the schdule a little, but don't bother to change the written agreement, then a year or so later one of them wants to un-change the way their working and go back to the technical terms of the agreement). See, "Get it In Writing," below. 750 ILCS 5/610.5((c)(1);
it's just a minor modification, 750 ILCS 5/610.5(e)(2);
the court wouldn't have approved the plan in the first place if it knew of the circumstances at the time of the approval, 750 ILCS 5/610.5(e)(3).