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Creating a Parenting Plan in an Illinois Divorce

Posted on in Child Custody

Barrington divorce lawyer parenting planDivorcing with children can be difficult. Their living arrangements will change drastically, and this change can be hard on them. Children thrive off of predictability and routine, which is why it is important that you establish a parenting plan prior to finalizing your divorce. Even if things are friendly now, and you and your spouse agree on the parenting situation, having a plan in writing can save you unwanted costs and headaches later.

How Will Parental Responsibility and Parenting Time Be Allocated?

One of the first things you need to determine in your parenting plan is how parental responsibility will be shared and parenting time will be divided between you and your ex-spouse. There are a few different types of parenting arrangements that are common:

  • Sole parenting arrangements: This means that the child will live solely or primarily with one parent, and that parent has been allocated total parental responsibility.
  • Joint parenting arrangements: This means that the mother and father will both share parenting time. Both parents may also share responsibility in making decisions about how to raise their children.

Depending on the situation, the amount of parental responsibility and parenting time the mother and father have with their child can vary. In some situations, the child will primarily reside with one parent, who has sole parenting responsibility and the majority of parenting time, while the other parent has the right to their own parenting time (formerly known as visitation). In other cases, parents may share parental responsibility, and children may spend equal or near-equal time with each parent.

Elements of a Sound Parenting Plan

Though parenting plans can differ between families and situations, they typically include certain standard elements. A parenting plan should specify:

  • Parenting time: If the child lives primarily with one parent, the other parent may be allocated a certain amount of parenting time. A parenting plan should include schedules for the time children will spend with each parent.
  • Holidays, vacations, and birthdays: A plan should state where and how the child will spend these special days each year.
  • Schooling: A parenting plan should specify how parents will share in making educational decisions for the child and who is responsible for paying for school supplies and other fees.
  • Recreation: Parents may wish to set rules for how the child is to spend his or her free time, addressing issues such as TV or computer usage.
  • Dating: If the parents come to an agreement on how new partners will be introduced into the child’s life, it should be specified in the plan.
  • Medical care: A parenting plan should state how parents will share responsibility for making decisions regarding the child’s medical or mental health treatment.
  • Dispute resolution: If the parents cannot come to an agreement on issues regarding the child, terms on how the disputes will be settled should be included in the plan.
  • Revisions: Parents’ and children’s circumstances may change, so a parenting plan should specify how modifications to the agreement will be handled in the future.

Get Help From a Schaumburg Divorce Attorney

Making decisions about how to handle matters in your divorce can be a complicated undertaking, and it gets even more difficult when you are negotiating terms on how your child should be raised. If you are going through a divorce with children, you need the help of an experienced and compassionate Arlington Heights divorce lawyer. The attorneys at Anderson & Associates, P.C. can help you come up with a parenting plan that benefits you and your child. Call 847-995-9999 to schedule a free consultation.




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