If you are a parent who is planning to divorce your spouse, it is likely that one of your biggest concerns is how the divorce will affect your children. The transition from nuclear family to sharing children between two homes can be challenging and no two co-parenting arrangements are the same. Parents who plan to share custody of their children after a divorce will be expected to create a parenting plan or parenting agreement and submit it to the court. A parenting plan is not only required for divorce involving children in Illinois, but is also a great way to make sure parents are on the same page regarding how they will raise children after the divorce is finalized.
Things to Consider When Making a Parenting Plan
Because every family is different, every parenting plan is different. Some divorcing couples feel that they can roughly outline a custody and visitation schedule and plan little else while others go into much more detail about how their children should be raised. If you worry that you and your spouse will have trouble agreeing to parenting decisions in the future, it is best to be very specific in your parenting agreement. Take the time to prevent problems before they arise by making sure you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse are in agreement about parenting responsibilities.
Decisions Parents Must Make
Experts suggest parents include decisions about the following in their parenting plan:
- Allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time (also called custody and visitation);
- Who will have the children during holidays, birthdays, or other special events;
- Transportation plans including how the children will be transferred between the two homes;
- The children’s involvement in after school sports or other extracurricular activities;
- When grandparents or other family members will see the children;
- Child care or babysitting plans for when both parents are unavailable;
- When parents may introduce children to a new romantic partner;
- House rules and discipline;
- Healthcare; and
- Religious or cultural expectations.
Of course, many parenting plans do not include all of these considerations and others include many more than are listed here. The most important things you are required by Illinois courts to include in your plan are the custody and visitation schedules. Ultimately, your parenting plan should reflect you and your family’s needs.
A Divorce and Family Law Firm You Can Trust
If you need further assistance creating a parenting plan or have other family law concerns, contact the experienced DuPage County divorce and family law attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group. Call 630-871-1002 to schedule a free initial consultation today.