Tag Archives: child custody

Review Your Parenting Plan for Summer Vacation

summer, Wheaton family law attorneyIn just a matter of weeks, children throughout Northern Illinois will be done with school for the summertime. If you have children, you have probably seen signs of excitement. They may be ready to sleep in later than usual and to spend time outdoors with friends. You, the parent, may be eager for summer to arrive as well, but if you are divorced, the extended break may bring a few additional concerns. If you are currently subject to any type of shared parenting arrangement or custody order, it is time to begin making plans for the summer months ahead.

Know What Your Plan Says

The most important thing you need to do before summer break arrives is to review your existing parenting arrangements so that you are refreshed on your rights and responsibilities. Your parenting plan likely contains at least a bare-bones parenting time schedule. In some cases, the schedule may actually be quite detailed.

Many parenting plans offer the majority of the summer parenting time to the parent who gets less time with the children during the school year. This is especially common when that parent lives in another city or state. Other agreements maintain a schedule that is largely similar to the one used during the rest of the year with allowances for summer holidays, planned trips, or other special occasions.

Once you know what your parenting plan says, you can begin to make plans and to start negotiations with the other parent, if necessary. For example, if you want to take your children on a week-long vacation in July, doing so may require the other parent to give up a few days of scheduled parenting time. While this is not an unreasonable request, you should be prepared to give up some of your parenting time on another occasion to facilitate plans by the other parent.

Communication Is Key

If you and the other parent intentionally left your parenting arrangement rather vague regarding summer parenting time, you will need to communicate and work together. It is better to begin the planning process now rather than to wait until the last minute. Planning ahead allows you to know what will soon be happening, and it gives you the chance to keep your children informed as well. Your children cannot get excited about a planned event if they do not know about it.

Regardless of what has occurred between you and the other parent, do your best to remain flexible this summer—at least to a certain extent. Summer is the perfect setting for spontaneous day trips, baseball games, and picnics. Your children’s other parent may ask for an extra day to offer them an impromptu surprise, or you may have a similar idea of your own. Be willing to extend such a courtesy, as doing so can allow your children to get the most out of this summer’s break.

If you are struggling to come up with a summer parenting time schedule or your existing arrangement needs to be amended, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. Call 630-871-1002 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at Andrew Cores Family Law Group today.





Parallel Parenting May Be the Solution for Hostile Parents

parallel, Wheaton family law attorneySometimes a couple with children divorces and they continue interacting almost as if the divorce never happened. They still chat about their lives together when picking up or dropping off the children and can easily communicate about changes in parenting time schedules or concerns regarding the children.

Other couples are much more antagonistic toward each other during and after a divorce. They struggle to communicate at all without fighting and are not willing to cooperate with each other. This often happens when a marriage ends due to adultery or another significant breach of trust. Mental health issues like narcissistic personality disorder can also make it nearly impossible for parents to communicate effectively. In circumstances like these, a method of shared parenting called parallel parenting may be the best option for raising happy, successful children.

Features of Parallel Parenting

Studies have proven that arguing in front of children is destructive to their wellbeing. The purpose of parallel parenting is to keep the animosity between parents away from the children. Unlike regular co-parenting, parallel parenting eliminates the majority of communication between parents. Before an Illinois divorced is finalized, all parents planning to share custody must submit a parenting plan or parenting agreement to the court. Although the court’s requirements are only that the plan includes schedules for the allocation of parental responsibilities (custody) and parenting time (visitation) schedule, a couple planning to parallel parent will need to create a much more specific parenting plan.

What to Include in Your Parenting Agreement

If you are currently in the midst of a hostile divorce and plan to share parenting with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, experts suggest you include the following in your parenting plan:

  • Detailed plans regarding which parent will have the children when: This will need to be quite specific. Include pick up and drop off times and locations;
  • Plans for holidays, vacations, and birthdays: Some couples find that an every-other-year schedule for major holidays works for them;
  • How the couple will communicate regarding the children: Experts suggest that hostile parents use electronic communication instead of phone calls or face-to-face interactions in order to lessen the chance of conflict. Shared electronic calendars such as Google Calendar or apps like Our Family Wizard can help parents stay on the same page regarding their children. Parents should only communicate when necessary and should only include objective facts.

Legal Guidance for Divorcing Parents

A qualified Wheaton divorce lawyer may significantly decrease the difficulty of divorcing a hostile spouse.  To schedule a free, confidential consultation at the Andrew Cores Family Law Group, call 630-871-1002 today.





Review Your Parenting Plan for Holiday Arrangements

holiday, DuPage County family law attorneyIn about two weeks, families throughout the United States will get together to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. As you might expect, traditions often vary from one family to the next, but for most people, the most important part of the holiday season is the opportunity to visit with friends and loved ones—many who have traveled a great distance to be part of the festivities. If you are a divorced parent, however, planning for the holidays can be difficult as you most likely will need to coordinate your plans with those of your child’s other parent.

Rotating Holidays?

Illinois law provides that a parenting plan following a divorce must include a parenting time schedule. Must parenting plans also include provisions that indicate where and how the child will spend certain holidays, depending on which holidays are a priority for which parent. For example, if Thanksgiving is a major holiday among your extended family but not so much for the other parent’s family, your agreement could stipulate that your child is to stay with you each year at Thanksgiving. In other situations, an alternating or split holiday schedules may be more appropriate.

It is also possible for your parenting plan to be silent on the issue of holidays or leave such considerations to be determined by mutual agreement each year. If this describes your parenting plan, you will need to make your plans soon.

Travel and Other Considerations

Each year, millions of Americans travel significant distances to spend holidays with friends and family in other states. If travel will be part of your holiday plans and you want your child to come with you, you may need to carve out several days day to make it happen. Communicate with your ex-spouse about taking a few days to celebrate Thanksgiving in another state. Let him or her know that you have a safe, comfortable place to stay and that you will be a positive role model for your children throughout the trip.

In return, you may need to offer a similar consideration in the future—another holiday, for example. Alternatively, maybe you would be willing to sacrifice an upcoming weekend with your children in exchange for the extra time to allow your child to travel with you.

Be Flexible

You should also be ready to keep an open mind if the other parent approaches you regarding traveling with your child. While it may not be your ideal situation, being accommodating and flexible can allow your child to make the most of the holiday season. It also can help create trust between you and the other parent that can last far beyond Thanksgiving and Christmas.

If you have concerns about how to exercise your rights to spend holidays with your children, contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney. Call 630-871-1002 for a free consultation with a member of our team today.