Parties divorced. Mother was awarded the custody of the child. Their son was then 10 months old.
Four years later, Father filed for custody of the son. The Court denied his petition. Father appealed.
Appellate Court properly considered changes in mother’s circumstances. Father showed evidence of the emergence of her mental health issues. A troubled and sometimes violent relationship between Mother and her new husband. Instances of reckless and neglectful parenting by Mother. Mother’s unwillingness to be truthful. She held back on telling Father about important matters affecting their child.
The trial court had agreed with Mother. 1) She claimed that custody could only be modified under certain conditions. 2) The circumstances had to be different from what existed when she got custody. 3) The changed circumstances have to have already harmed the child. 4) And, the child’s welfare has to be affected.
The Appellate Court disagreed. Father had been put in the wrong legal position. It was improper for him to have to show that the child’s welfare had already been affected by Mother’s behavior.
A court is not required to wait for something bad to happen to a child before it can modify custody.
Custody was changed to Father.
In re Marriage of Rogers, 2015 IL App (4th) 140765.
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