Do you currently have joint custody? Are you considering asking a court to award you “sole custody”?
You might currently have shared decision making and sometimes a split parenting schedule. But what if the children are having significant problems and the shared decision making and the frequent shifts of homes is not working out?
When will a court order a change?
In extreme cases, a court will move the children to the other home and cut off joint decision making when one parent repeatedly attempts to cut the other parent out of the kids’ lives.
How bad does it have to be?
Is your ex telling the children’s doctors and therapists not to talk to you? That is serious.
Is he or she refusing to tell you when appointments are scheduled? Keep a journal to show this is a continued pattern of behavior.
Does he or she make repeated false claims of child abuse against you to the Department of Children and Family Services or the Police? Keep those letters from DCFS finding the claims unsubstantiated and get a copy of the Police Reports.
Most importantly, are your kids suffering as a result. The courts will look at whether the disruptive behavior of your ex is affecting their emotional and physical health? The courts will look at how the children’s grades are affected and whether they are acting out at school.
When the situation is extreme and your kids are suffering as result of the other parent’s demonizing and aggressive behavior when he or she is supposed to be trying to work in unison with you, the courts will order a change.
Changes in custody or what we now call allocation of parental responsibilities in Illinois are not granted often but they will happen depending on the seriousness of the situation.