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Arlington Heights allocation of parental responsibilities attorneyWhen people get divorced, they are forced to make decisions about splitting the life they built together. In most situations, this will include assets and finances. When a couple has children, this affects the above variables, but also creates new challenges during the proceedings. In most cases, an Illinois judge will keep both divorcing parents in a child’s life, but the care of that child is referred to as the allocation of parental responsibilities and will be organized through a parenting plan.

A parenting plan is an organizational system used by divorced adults with children. The plan allocates parental responsibility and parenting time, which have replaced the terms custody and visitation in Illinois law. These terms mean different things, but they do have overlap. Parenting time is quality time spent with a child. It may be playing their favorite game, providing basic necessities, and disciplining them. Having parental responsibility has more to do with decisions that affect a child's future or well-being. A parent who has parental responsibility will have parenting time. However, there may be cases in which a parent is allocated parenting time but does not have any decision-making responsibility for children. 

Parental responsibility involves making decisions about the following areas, and each of these areas may be shared by parents or allocated solely to one parent:

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Schaumburg parenting time attorney

Being a teenager can be tough. The wrong haircut or a break-up can feel like the end of the world, so the major life changes that teens will experience when their parents go through a divorce can be especially traumatizing. Studies show that slightly less than half of all marriages end in divorce in the United States, and a quarter of teens whose parents divorce will experience emotional issues. Generally speaking, getting a divorce with children makes the split more complicated. Although a teenager will likely be able to conceptualize what a divorce means better than a younger child, the teen’s emotions may be more dramatic.

A divorce can be a turning point in any child’s life, and family changes can cause stress. A teen may develop anxiety and depression, or he or she may go through a phase involving substance abuse or poor grades. Every teen will react to divorce differently depending on their emotional maturity and family relationships. Recognizing signs that your teen is struggling during your divorce is important in order to help him or her cope with the transition. 

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Arlington Heights family law attorney

It is no secret that divorce is tough on a family. Although a husband and wife no longer want to be married, they both will continue to share a relationship with their children. After a divorce, one parent often moves from the family home, which can be difficult for children to begin with, but it can also change their daily routines or schedules. When addressing issues such as when children will have quality time with either parent, Illinois law allows families to complete a parenting plan, which must be in writing and signed by both parents to be considered legally binding.

What Is a Parenting Plan?

Since 2016, Illinois has removed terms such as “custody” and “visitation” from state family laws in an attempt to better address the roles that parents play following divorce. Now, such matters are referred to as “parental responsibility” and “parenting time,” respectively. A parenting plan is what puts decisions about these issues into action after a divorce by dictating how parental responsibilities will be allocated or shared between parents and when each parent will spend time with the child. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Palatine parenting plan lawyer

Any person who grew up with divorced parents will tell you it is not easy. Although the divorce rate in the United States has decreased, slightly less than half of all marriages still end in divorce. Traditionally, two people get married and then start a family, so children are often caught in the crossfire of a divorce. Studies have shown that children of divorce are more likely to marry another person with divorced parents, and those couples are more likely to get a divorce themselves. If the cycle of divorce continues, it is important for parents to learn how to communicate with their children about the end of their marriage. 

Open Communication

How the discussion of divorce should be handled will depend on the age and emotional maturity of a child. If there are multiple children with significant gaps in age, it may be best to individualize these discussions. Some of the most important aspects of these conversations include being open and honest while talking to children about divorce. Expect a wide range of reactions and emotions, which could go on for a period of time, even after the divorce is final. Some tips for discussing divorce with children of different ages include:

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Palatine parenting plan attorney

Before a divorce, most parents care for their children together under one roof. Once a divorce is finalized, parents will need to continue providing the same level of care for children while living in separate households. This can be a difficult adjustment for parents, especially if there is bad blood between them. The goal for successful co-parenting is for a child to be minimally affected by a divorce, and a parenting plan can help achieve that. 

What Is a Parenting Plan?

In Illinois, when adults with children get divorced, how the child is taken care of after the split is determined by a parenting plan. This plan is a court order signed by a judge, to which both parents agree. The parenting plan dictates who has parental responsibilities for the child (custody), as well as parenting time with the child (visitation). For example, a parenting plan may state that the child will spend the weekdays with one parent, and the weekends with the other. No matter how it is organized, a judge will only sign off on the plan if it is believed to be in the best interests of the child. 

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Palatine parenting plan lawyer

Divorce brings changes to all members of an immediate family. Instead of giving custody to one parent over the other, Illinois allocates parental responsibility and parenting time through a parenting plan, which is a court order that maps out how a child will be taken care of after divorce. This schedule includes details such as when a child stays with each parent. The parenting plan will also specify how decisions are made for education, religion, and medical care are covered, as well as who has the authority to make these decisions. Things like school and extracurricular activities will be taken into consideration when creating this plan, and it is best if co-parents can communicate with each other about expectations during the school year. 

School Issues to Consider  

When creating a parenting plan, it is best to avoid disrupting the child’s life as much as possible. There are a couple of things to keep in mind regarding education:

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Schaumburg divorce attorney summer parenting plan

Summer vacation is what students look forward to all year. However, if a couple gets a divorce, there can be much uncertainty around this time of year for parents and children alike. Without school to fill children's daily schedules, an entirely different schedule within your parenting plan may be necessary.

What Is a Parenting Plan?

When a married couple with children gets divorced, they must create a parenting plan. This is a court order that specifies how children will be taken care of after a divorce. The parenting plan will explain the amount of time each parent gets to spend with a child, and how parents will make decisions about raising their children. In Illinois, the terms “custody” and “visitation” have been replaced by “parental responsibilities” and “parenting time.” Instead of dividing legal and physical custody of children, parents may divide or share decision-making responsibilities, and each parent will typically be given parenting time with the children.

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Schaumburg divorce lawyer

When getting a divorce, one of the biggest concerns is how decisions regarding children will be made between the former spouses. In Illinois, this is called parental responsibility, which dictates the important aspects of a child’s life. Decisions about medical care, education, and religion are made by the parents, who share this responsibility. Decisions about a child’s care are made through what is called a parenting plan. 

What is a Parenting Plan?

A parenting plan is a court order that decides which parent sees the child and when, and how they are cared for. Although the time spent with both parents is rarely an exact 50/50 split, in most cases, the court will decide that the child will benefit the most from seeing both parents regularly. In lieu of “visitation” in Illinois, the term used is “parenting time,” which is defined as time performing parental duties and care. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Schaumburg family lawyer

When children are young, birthday parties are a way to make them feel special, with family and friends in attendance. However, after a divorce, celebrating a child’s birthday may feel like a complicated and daunting task. Your child deserves to have a great day, but seeing your ex-spouse and being reminded of your divorce may not be the best situation for everyone involved. You may also feel increased pressure to make things perfect for your child, especially if you are recently divorced.

To start, your parenting plan may have all the answers. You might have communicated what to do for family birthdays in your divorce agreement. A parenting plan dictates which parent a child spends time with and when. Maybe that was a while ago, and things have changed, or it was not included at all. 

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Schaumburg Grandparent Rights Attorney

When getting a divorce, one issue commonly discussed is which parent a child spends time with and when in the form of a parenting plan. Parenting plans break down custody and visitation, or parenting time in regard to separated parents, from daily schedules to special circumstances like holidays. 

After a divorce, other family members such as grandparents may want to spend time with a child as well. The relationship a parent may have with the grandparents of their child can change after a divorce. A parent’s rights come first, and each state has its own legislation regarding people who are not parents of the child. In Illinois, grandparents may have the right to visit with a grandchild, depending on the circumstances, after a divorce. This is also the case for stepparents, great-grandparents, and siblings.

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Schaumburg Parenting Plan Lawyer

With New Year’s and the holiday season now in the rearview mirror, children will soon go back to school. Winter break is a great time to enjoy days with your children and celebrate together. With your child being off from school for multiple weeks, hopefully your parenting plan worked sufficiently for you and your ex-spouse as you navigated the packed schedule. 

Parenting plans should be formulated during the initial divorce process. They detail when a child gets to spend time with each parent and provide instructions for situations like extracurricular activities, holidays, and day-to-day life, such as exchanges of parenting time and a child's educational needs.

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Could a “Nesting” Parenting Plan Be Your Best Choice After Divorce?

Palatine divorce attorney parenting planEveryone knows that divorce is hard on all of those who are involved - especially the kids. Even if you try to keep them out of the fighting and the negotiations, you may not realize how much your children actually pick up on. They can sense when there is tension between their parents, but they often do not know what to do about it, and this can cause them a great deal of stress. One way that divorced parents may be able to help their children cope with the changes to their lives is by using a unique co-parenting arrangement called “nesting.”

What Is a Nesting Arrangement?

This type of co-parenting agreement occurs when a divorced couple keeps the family home, and the children reside there 100 percent of the time--it is the parents who come and go. A separate living space, such as an apartment, is rented so the parents have somewhere to go when the other parent is at the house with the children. Or, in some cases, each parent will have their own living space to go to. This type of arrangement puts the focus on making the children comfortable with the parents’ divorce and alleviating the stress that children feel when they are constantly hauled back and forth between residences.

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Creating a Parenting Plan in an Illinois Divorce

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:

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Schaumburg divorce lawyer, divorced parent, holidays and divorce, parenting plan, parenting timeThe holiday season can be a magical time, offering chances for families to come together, give gifts, celebrate traditions, and be thankful for everything they have. Unfortunately, this can make the season difficult for parents who have recently experienced divorce, since they will likely be coping with loneliness, struggling with change, and remembering the good times they had with their families in the past.

While the season can be emotionally challenging, divorced parents can make the most of the holidays by following these tips:

  1. Understand your parenting plan - Your final divorce decree will include a schedule for parenting time, not just describing which parent children will spend time with on an everyday basis, but specifying how holidays and school vacations will be divided between parents. Knowing what your parenting plan says will help you avoid any conflicts with your ex-spouse with regard to whom children will be spending holiday time.

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