Skip to main content

Filed a joint custody agreement in May and now in September my ex has filed a petition to modify custody. Can she do this

Taylorville, IL |

In May 2013 we agreed to a joint custody agreement for our three children, she has residential custody of two children and I have residential custody of one. The child I have residential custody of has Autism and his siblings were verbally and physically abusive to him, that's why I decided to retain custody of him, to separate the abused from the abusers. Now in September my ex has filed a petition to modify custody in an attempt to have the custody of our son that I have put into her care and residential custody. Doesn't it have to be two years before she could address this, what can I do to "shut this down" My ex is attacking me at a time that she knows I cannot afford legal representation, so I'll be representing myself pro se. Any help or tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank's

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    The only basis for modifying the present parenting agreement is serious endangerment to the child. If your ex cannot show such endangerment, the parenting agreement as it presently stands will be ordered to remain. File a motion to strike or dismiss and go to court to argue that there is no danger to the child. If you are able to do so, go to a law library (or even look online) for sample motions and arguments. Whatever you do, do something. Failure to participate could result in an order you would not like.

    While to state you cannot afford an attorney, you might be able to locate one who will consult with you and give your guidance without appearing on your behalf. It would be like having your own legal coach behind the scenes and would probably be very beneficial and cost effective.

  2. She can pursue such a motion within the first two years, but she would have to be able to prove that the child's present environment is seriously endangering the child's physical, mental, moral, or emotional health.

  3. This doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. There should be a simple wayto deal with this and youvery well may be able to handle it on your own. You'll need to talk with an attorney, however, to get your bearings and do it right. A wrong step, here, could prove disastrous.

    Wes Cowell

Family law topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics