During the divorce process, parents with children in Illinois must create something known as a “parenting plan.” A parenting plan addresses several things, including when each parent will spend time with their child, where the child will go to school, and who will make important decisions on behalf of the child. But creating a parenting plan that both parents feel is fair and addresses their individual concerns can be challenging. Even after the parenting plan is created, new issues may arise as the children grow older, causing parents to consider modifying the parenting plan to address these issues.
What If We Disagree on Everyday Rules?
A common concern for many parents is also one that potentially affects the everyday life of a child: How much time they are allowed to spend on screens? With screens on TVs, computers, phones, and tablets, it is easy for kids to spend hours each day watching television or playing games. A parent who is more restrictive about screen time may have legitimate concerns about whether kids are getting too much screen time at the other parent’s house.
Likewise, a parent who finds out that children are staying up late on school nights and getting less than the recommended sleep may find themselves taking care of grumpy kids with sliding grades. Or perhaps one parent is stringent about enforcing teeth brushing, and worries they will be stuck with a massive dentist bill when the consequences of the other parent’s decisions about sugar and dental hygiene come home to roost. But what can a parent do if they feel their child’s other parent is falling short on important everyday issues?
A Parenting Plan Can Address Naturally Different Parenting Styles
In order to encourage consistency and to ensure the children’s needs are being met, a parenting plan may address issues including, but not limited to, the following:
- Limits on screen time
- Consistent use of good hygiene
- Reasonable bedtimes
- Homework before play
- Exercise and involvement in afterschool activities
Of course, rules and boundaries are easier to create when parents agree and are able to follow similar schedules. A collaborative divorce encourages parents to solve these issues themselves, rather than litigating them in court. However, it may be necessary to compromise on certain things, such as a strict bedtime, in order to agree on technology use limits or sugar intake.
Contact a Wheaton, IL Family Law Attorney
Creating a parenting plan is challenging and can require extensive negotiation. Fortunately, the DuPage County family law attorneys with Andrew Cores Family Law Group have experience creating and modifying parenting plans that address your unique circumstances and can help you reach a favorable outcome. Schedule a free consultation with an attorney on our team by calling us today at 630-871-1002.