What Happens Once The Court Receives A Request For A Modification To Child Support Or Custody Order?
Once the court receives the initial motion to modify a child support or custody order, they do not review it on the merits. They don’t decide if it’s appropriately filed. They don’t decide if it’s likely to be granted. They make no judgment whatsoever when the motion is presented during that initial presentment date. They order the parties to produce documents that are relevant. The court sets a date for the response to be filed by the non-moving party. Once the response is filed, the moving party often gets to file a reply. The court sets the deadline to file the response and reply, and sets another date for the hearing.
If somebody files a motion that’s frivolous, unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done. Before anyone would ever know that it’s a frivolous action, the court would have already brought you into court, at least twice, both parties would have presented their side to the court, the court would have ordered you to produce financial documents or personal information, you would have responded to the pleading, been ordered to file a reply, and have had a hearing. The court will not make a determination about the motion that’s been filed until the hearing date. Now, perhaps both parties have gotten attorneys, which is costly.
If you’re the non-moving party, you would need to get an attorney, file a response, produce documents, and show up in court twice. That’s expensive, and there is no pre-determination of whether that’s a meritorious or frivolous motion. However, all of that money has been spent, and it usually takes three months to get to the hearing all for the possibility of a frivolous motion. Unfortunately, that is something that happens. You have a right to file the motion and do all of the investigation that goes on before it’s heard. Consequently, if you have a frivolous motion filed against you, you have very little recourse to protect yourself.
My Child’s Other Parent And I Live In Separate Or Different Counties. Where Must The Modification Of The Court Order Be Filed?
When an allocation judgment gets filed, it is filed in the county that the child has resided in for at least six months. The allocation judgment is the final judgment regarding decision-making and visitation. Therefore, the jurisdiction where the allocation judgment is filed is the location that has jurisdiction over the child. Until the child has lived more than six months in another jurisdiction, the initial location has jurisdiction. If a child lived in the county where the original judgment was entered but left and moved somewhere else soon after, one of the parents could petition the new court to transfer jurisdiction to them.
After living in a new jurisdiction or county for six months, you could ask the court to transfer jurisdiction. However, that’s sometimes hard to get done. The reality is that most people continue to litigate all child-related matters and divorce-related matters in the jurisdiction where the original order was entered. Nonetheless, you have the ability to transfer jurisdiction to another county or location if the child has lived there for more than six months. If it’s not a financial issue, such as child support or another financial issue, then the jurisdiction relates to where the parent has lived. You can request a transfer of jurisdiction if neither parent lives in the jurisdiction.
If one of the parents continues to live in the original county where the judgment was entered, it is very unlikely that there will be a transfer of jurisdiction. Even if the child and primary parent have moved out, the courts in Illinois will not transfer jurisdiction if they have one party still living in their jurisdiction.
For more information on Modifications in Divorce Cases in Illinois, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (847) 234-4445 today.