In an Illinois divorce that involves children, parents are expected to reach a resolution on a parenting plan that defines the terms of how they will co-parent after the divorce. In some cases, the court must play a significant role in decisions regarding the parenting plan, including when there are major disagreements between the two parents. However, parents have the option of working together to create a plan that they both agree to, allowing them to retain more control over the resolution. A qualified family law attorney can help you create a parenting plan that protects the interests of you and your children.
What is a Parenting Plan?
Two of the most important components of a parenting plan are the parenting time schedule and the allocation of parental responsibilities. The parenting time schedule should include the days that the children will spend living with each parent, as well as important details regarding transportation between homes, and in many cases, to and from the children’s appointments and events. The allocation of parental responsibilities outlines how the parents will contribute to decisions regarding the children’s activities, education, health, and other important matters.
Create Consistency in Your Parenting Plan
As you create your parenting plan, there are some important things to keep in mind, one of which is the value of consistency. A divorce will be hard on your children, so the more stability you and your spouse can create, the easier the transition will be for them. When establishing your plan, keep as many things in your child’s life consistent as possible. If your child has an extracurricular activity during the week, work that activity and any other regular events into the parenting plan. If your spouse picks up your child every day from school, continue that routine if possible. When changes do need to be made to the child’s schedule, communicate these changes with your spouse and make sure you both can commit to them.
Consider What Your Children Want
It is also a good idea to consider your children’s wants and needs when creating your parenting plan. If they are old enough to express their own preferences, it is important to take their input into account. If they are younger, you should think about what would offer the most benefit and create the least amount of disruption to their lives. Remember that the terms of the parenting plan need to be in the children’s best interests, and work to create it accordingly.
Contact a Knowledgeable Wheaton Family Law Attorney
A good parenting plan not only serves your children’s best interests, but can also help you avoid future stress and conflict with your co-parent. For a free consultation with an experienced DuPage County parental responsibilities lawyer who can help you create a plan that meets your needs, call Andrew Cores Family Law Group at 630-871-1002 today.