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Tips For Creating a Parenting Plan in an Illinois Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

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. 

A parenting plan is a legal document drafted and agreed to by the parents of a minor child, and it is approved by the court. In some cases, if the parents cannot agree, the court can establish the plan. A parenting plan may also address issues such as the child’s education, health care, and social and emotional well-being.

When getting a divorce, planning all of the child-related issues out may feel daunting, but here are some tips for creating a successful parenting plan:  

  • Seek legal help: A parenting plan is considered a court order and will be approved or denied by a judge during a divorce. If a person does not already have legal counsel for a divorce, it would be beneficial to seek guidance regarding a parenting plan. A family law attorney will know how to address all the post-divorce issues. Although a parenting plan can be modified after the fact, any changes will also have to be approved by the court. 
  • Think ahead: It is important to find solutions to co-parenting conflicts during and soon after a divorce, but a successful parenting plan will also consider how things will be handled down the line. The original schedule may need to be adjusted if children's schedules change due to school activities or if a parent begins working different hours. Having a procedure mapped out for addressing potential conflicts will reduce confusion and conflict later on. Parents should also consider any big purchases a child may need, such as glasses or braces, and a parenting plan should address who will be responsible for making decisions about these matters, as well as how these expenses will be divided between the parents. 
  • Communicate: Although a romantic relationship between parents did not work, it is still possible to have a new and healthy relationship as co-parents for the sake of the children. Although it is not required, parents may consider creating their parenting plan together and listening to each other’s concerns constructively. Getting a parenting plan started on the right foot can help lead to successful co-parenting in the years to come. 

Contact a Barrington Divorce Lawyer

Many decisions need to be made when a couple gets a divorce, especially when children are involved. If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, it is important to seek professional legal assistance. For answers to all of your questions about parental responsibility, parenting time, and child support, contact an experienced Palatine family law attorney. The experienced staff at Anderson and Associates, P.C. will be able to assist with all of your divorce needs, including creating a valid parenting plan. Call our office today at 847-995-9999 to schedule a free consultation.






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