Category Archives: Parenting Time

Should I Update My Parenting Plan Due to Illinois’ Stay-at-Home Order?

DuPage County divorce attorney parenting time coronavirusGovernor Pritzker has extended the Illinois Stay-at-Home Executive Order through the end of April. This new state government guideline has required many Illinois residents to adjust to a “new normal” in terms of their daily activities. Such a major impact even might affect the terms of your child custody agreements. In some cases, you and your co-parent may agree to make temporary changes to ensure your family’s health and safety during the order, but in other cases, you might need to update your parenting agreement.

4 Ways the Stay-at-Home Order Could Alter Parenting Plans

If you are a divorced or unmarried parent, you might want to revisit your parenting plan in light of the Stay-at-Home Order. While your overall parental responsibilities will likely not be affected, you may need to make adjustments to parenting time schedules, or you might want to include changes that address other issues. Here are some reasons your parenting plan might need to be updated:

  1. Sickness—Obviously, if you or the other co-parent are sick with a dangerous contagious disease, self-quarantine might be necessary, but that does not necessarily mean the sick parent cannot see his/her child. The parent who is not sick should make an effort to let the sick parent visit with the child as regularly planned, even if it is through video conferencing or by telephone.

  2. Travel—If the parents live far away from each other, and visits with a parent would require dangerous travel—be it via airplane or public transportation—for either the parent or the child, then different accommodations might need to be made until social distancing restrictions have been relaxed.

  3. More Time at Home/Absence of School Activities—Schools have been closed due to the Stay-at-Home Order. Even though children will be receiving schooling at home, and they will have assignments to keep them busy, a parent may need to stay home with them to provide care. Depending on both parents’ work schedules and your ability to work from home, you may need to revise your parenting time arrangements to ensure that one of you can provide care for your children.

  4. No Public Interactions—If you and your co-parent are required by court order to engage in activities with your child that take place in public, you may not be able to meet these requirements due to the closure of many public places. To avoid putting yourselves or your children in danger, you may need to temporarily halt these types of activities or determine other arrangements that will allow you to continue spending time with your children.

These are only some examples of why a parenting plan might need to be updated, and the temporary or permanent modifications you may need to make will depend on your unique situation. While Illinois’ Stay-at-Home Executive Order went into effect on March 21 and will last at least through April 30, if not longer, it is worth noting that abiding by court-ordered parenting time agreements is considered an essential activity, provided it does not place the health of the child or the parents in jeopardy. Ultimately, you and your co-parent must use your best judgment. If your child’s other parent is not acting in good faith or is refusing to follow the court’s orders, legal intervention might be necessary.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Family Law Attorney

If you would like to revise your parenting plan, or if you need to address any violations of the court’s orders by your ex-spouse, call a DuPage County parenting time lawyer at 630-871-1002 to determine your best options. The knowledgeable team at Andrew Cores Family Law Group will provide you with a free consultation, and we will help you understand how you can maintain your parental rights while protecting your children’s health, safety, and well-being.


3 Elements of an Effective Parenting Plan

Wheaton child custody attorney for parenting plansIf you are going through the divorce process and working with your spouse, your respective lawyers, and/or the judge to determine how to allocate parental responsibilities, you will want to give serious thought to the development of an effective parenting plan that protects your children’s best interests while maintaining your rights as a parent. Here are some things to consider when devising such a plan:

How Do You Create the Right Parenting Plan?

The right parenting plan can make things a whole lot easier for everyone, including both parents and children. However, developing a fair parenting plan that is beneficial for everyone involved can be challenging. In fact, parents often cannot agree on the terms of the parenting plan, and the court may need to intervene and make decisions about the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time, which might not be nearly as beneficial to those involved. In most cases, it is recommended to work with your lawyer and the other parent to create an effective and agreeable parenting plan. When creating your parenting plan, you will want to keep the following issues in mind:

  1. Always Consider Your Children’s Best Interests—You must put yourself in your children’s shoes. With every term you put in the plan, consider how it will affect your children. If you think a certain stipulation will stress your child out or cause undue emotional turmoil, then you will want to rethink its objectives. There could be better ways to achieve the same goals that will not be as traumatic to the children. Also, if your child is particularly mature, you may even want to ask them their opinion. You would be surprised at how good they are at knowing what is in their best interests.

  2. Balance Your Needs and Rights as a Parent with Those of Your Ex-Spouse—While it is true that you will ultimately want what works best for you as a parent, you probably realize that, just as with most marriages, a parenting plan requires compromise. If your ideal plan will put your spouse at a disadvantage, be willing to cooperate with them and make some concessions to get more of what you want. There could be elements of the parenting plan that you do not feel as strongly about—and those very elements could be the ones your spouse has a great passion for. That would be an excellent place to start your negotiations and determine where you are willing to compromise.

  3.  Do Not Be Shortsighted—Overall, unless you intend on eventually requesting modification of child custody orders, your parenting plan will dictate how you and the other parent will raise your children together. You must not only consider the needs of you and your children now; you must also plan for the future. How will the decisions you make apply to your children when they are older? What amendments will need to be made to make your parenting plan more relevant to a teenager? What if one or both of you gets remarried or relocates to a new home? While bigger decisions may require a child custody modification, the majority of other concerns can be addressed through nuances in your parenting plan that will allow for adaptation to new circumstances with time.

Contact a DuPage County Parenting Plan Attorney

A lot of thought goes into developing a parenting plan. During your divorce, you need the advice of an attorney who understands what works best for parents, children, and families in general. Contact a Wheaton, IL family law attorney at Andrew Cores Family Law Group by calling 630-871-1002 for a free consultation. We are ready to work with you to develop an effective parenting plan that will meet your family’s needs.


Can a Parent Relocate With a Child After an Illinois Divorce?

Wheaton post-divorce relocation lawyerA divorce under any circumstances can be difficult, and when a couple has a child, that can further complicate the process. Typically, parents do not want to give up time with their child once the marriage ends, but changes to children’s and parents’ schedules are a reality of divorce. One parent may be allocated the majority of the parental responsibilities. However, the other parent does have a right to parenting time, which can be addressed with a parenting plan. In some cases, one of the parents may wish to move out of state to be near family members or due to a job transfer or new career opportunity. Depending on the circumstances, child support or parenting time may need to be modified. Therefore, it is important to ensure that parental rights are not violated in any way.

Illinois Divorce Law Pertaining to Relocation

Under Illinois law, if a parent wants to move with his or her child, a written notice must be given to the other parent at least 60 days before the relocation. The relocating parent also needs to submit a copy of the notice to family court for approval. This legal document should contain information such as:

  • The date of the move

  • The location of the new residence

  • How long the relocation will last

If the non-relocating parent gives his or her approval for the move, he or she will sign the legal notice and return it to the relocating parent. The relocating parent must then file the signed notice with the court to finalize it. If the non-moving parent contests the relocation, the other parent must seek approval from the court, which will take several factors into consideration before approving. In general, the court will base its decision on what is in the best interests of the child. Some of these issues include:

  • The reasons for the relocation

  • Why the other parent is objecting to the relocation

  • The positive and/or negative impact of the move on the child

  • The effect the move could have on the non-relocating parent’s rights

  • The kind of relationship each parent has with the child

  • Any order modifications for the continuation of the non-relocating parent’s rights

  • The absence or presence of family members in the current and proposed residence

It is important to note that certain child relocations do not need prior approval. Those parents who live with their child in DuPage, Kane, McHenry, Will, or Cook County can move up to 25 miles away without permission from the child’s other parent. In any other Illinois county, a parent is allowed to move up to 50 miles away. A parent can also move to another state, as long as the move is not any farther than 25 miles from the child’s current home.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

After a divorce, one ex-spouse may move out of state to be closer to family or take on a new job. This can mean a fresh start, but when a child is involved, it can complicate matters. If you are planning to relocate after your Illinois divorce, or if your ex is planning to move with your child, you should seek professional legal counsel to ensure your rights are protected. Our tenacious Wheaton, IL parental relocation attorneys will advise you on all the legal requirements and advocate for your child’s best interests. Call the Andrew Cores Law Group today at 630-871-1002 to schedule your free, confidential consultation.