Illinois parents who decided on a custody arrangement years ago may be living in very different situations now. Child custody orders don't naturally grow and change with a changing family dynamic, but they can be modified to suit a person's current situation.
Verywell Family points out that not every reason for a custody modification will be accepted. The child's best interest will always be the most important thing, and if the court decides the disruption to the child's life outweighs the possible benefits, the changes won't be made. Legitimate reasons for a modification can include dangers in the child's home environment, such as the threat of abuse. The relocation or death of a parent can also qualify, especially if the parent is moving a far distance away.
Once it has been decided that a modification needs to be made, FindLaw says it's possible for ex-partners to simply come to an agreement on a custody modification. If mutual agreement can happen, parents can submit the changes and the judge will often approve. If they cannot reach an agreement, however, the court will need to be involved more heavily. A request for modification must be made, and then proof of the changes needs to be presented. After that, mediation may happen to get parents to work out an agreement with the help of a mediator. They will either submit the request after working something out, or a mediator will make suggestions if they can't.
Custody modification is still an option in many situations, though. It's a simple matter to see whether or not any one situation applies.