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Wheaton child custody attorney for parental alienationIdeally, unmarried and divorcing parents would place their children’s well-being above their own angry or vengeful feelings toward their ex. Unfortunately, the pain of a divorce or breakup can sometimes make parents lose sight of what is really important. Some parents even attempt to influence or coach their children to dislike the other parent. Whether this influence is intentional or unintentional, the results can be extremely harmful to both the children and the other parent. “Parental alienation” occurs when a parent manipulates a child in such a way that the child begins to feel fearful or hostile toward the other parent. It is possible that parental alienation can have a substantial effect on child custody.

What Actions May Be Considered Parental Alienation?

Romantic partners or spouses who have ended their relationship will often harbor some degree of bitterness or spite. However, it is important for parents to avoid letting their feelings toward their ex influence the relationship between their ex and their shared children. If a parent disparages the other parent to the point that it begins to break down the relationship between the child and the other parent, this may be considered parental alienation. Parental alienation may involve:

  • Refusing to inform the other parent about the child’s school or extracurricular activities

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Lombard parenting plan modification lawyerWhen a couple makes the decision to pursue a divorce, the process can be incredibly complicated. When children are involved, the decisions made during divorce will affect their lives for years to come. However, people’s circumstances may change, and a modification to your divorce decree may be necessary in order to reflect changes in how you and your ex-spouse handle parental responsibilities and parenting time. If you plan to ask for a change to your child custody agreement, it is important to take the proper steps as you prepare for this request.

Preparing for a Parenting Plan Modification

You may petition for a modification to the parenting plan created in your divorce decree, but when considering these requests, a judge will base their decision on what is in children’s best interests. In order to show that your proposed changes will be in children’s best interests, you can take the following steps:

  • Remain Cordial With Your Former Spouse: The easiest way to modify your parenting plan is through working cooperatively with your ex-spouse to devise a plan that works for all parties involved. If you can show your former spouse that you can work together with them to provide a safe and loving home for your children, they are more likely to work with you in modifying the plan. On the other hand, any aggressive or insensitive behavior is likely to significantly impact their willingness to modify the plan. 
  • Be an Engaged Parent: If your former spouse is unwilling to work with you to modify your plan, even with the help of a mediator or family law professional, you may need to argue your case for a modification in a custody hearing. The best way to convince the court that you deserve more parental responsibilities or parenting time is through being a great parent. Be highly engaged in your child’s life, including staying informed of their academic performance and attending their extracurricular activities. You should also ensure that you have ample space in your home for your child to live, sleep, and play. 
  • Pay Child Support: Proving that you are a responsible parent is incredibly important as you look to modify your parenting plan. If you are responsible for paying child support, it is important that you make each payment in full and on time. Meeting your child support responsibilities can also encourage your former spouse to work with you in developing a mutually-beneficial modification to the parenting plan. 

Contact a Wheaton Family Law Attorney

At the Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., we understand the difficulties that parents and children face when struggling to adjust to the reality of divorce. If your family’s situation has changed, our attorneys will work with you to modify your parenting plan and help you reach an outcome that is best for you and your family. To schedule an initial consultation with a knowledgeable DuPage County child custody lawyer, contact us today at 630-462-9500. 

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Once a divorce decree or dissolution of marriage has been issued, courts do not like to modify any of the provisions, especially provisions having to do with property division. However, the law does allow for modifications in some instances.

There are three major issues in a divorce: property division; custody and parenting time; and support. If your spouse lied during the divorce proceedings, you may be able to go back and ask the court for a modification of the order.

Modifications

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Illinois child custody modification lawyerChild custody is one of the most difficult issues to deal with, even after a court has entered a formal custody order. In Illinois, it is always possible to ask the court to change a custody order, but getting a judge to agree to make a change is difficult. A change to a court order is called a modification. The steps required to successfully get a modification of a child custody order depend on how long the present order has been in place.

Requirements for Requesting a Modification

Under normal circumstances, when you ask for a modification, you must establish that at least two years have passed since the last custody order was signed and that there has been a change of circumstances. The change of circumstances means a change in the circumstances in the life of the child, the parent with the residential custody (sometimes called the primary residential parent) or the parent without residential custody (or the non-residential parent).

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