Tag Archives: parenting agreement

What Are Parenting Time Rights in an Illinois Divorce?

DuPage County parenting time attorneyGoing through a divorce can be difficult on an adult as well as a child. The end of a marriage also means the end of the family unit as they knew it. Determining child visitation, now referred to as “parenting time” in Illinois, can be a complicated matter. The child’s best interest is what the court considers when parenting time rights are being established in any divorce settlement. Parenting time can be divided in many different ways, but it is imperative that the parents keep personal preferences out of the equation and devise a plan that works best for the child.

Determining the Child’s Best Interests

It is recognized by the state that in most cases, it is best for children to have a healthy relationship with both their mother and father, and those familial bonds are essential in their development. While parents may be able to reach an agreement on how to share parenting time, they may need to settle these issues in court if they cannot do so on their own. A judge will consider various types of information when determining the best outcome for the child, and the following elements are taken under advisement:

  • Parents’ wishes

  • Child’s wishes

  • Child’s age

  • Time and dedication the parent can provide

  • Life at home, school, and community

  • Mental and physical health of all involved parties

  • History of violence

  • Parents’ willingness to co-exist

  • Whether a parent is an active military member

  • Whether a parent is a convicted criminal

Keeping all of these factors in mind is crucial to ensure that the child receives the best possible care and upbringing. In some cases, certain factors might have more weight than others when deciding parenting time. It is up to the parents and their attorneys to ensure everything is communicated properly to the court.

Possible Outcomes

The allocation of parental responsibility (formerly known as child custody) refers to the authority to make decisions about children’s upbringing, and responsibility may be shared between parents or allocated to one parent. However, regardless of how these responsibilities are allocated, each parent is entitled to reasonable parenting time with their children, as long as the child will not be endangered during their periods of parenting time. A parenting time schedule will be included in the parenting plan that is part of a couple’s divorce decree. While this schedule is meant to remain in place for the foreseeable future, modification of parenting time is possible in certain scenarios, such as emergency orders of protection, a change in parental income, the relocation of a spouse, or other situations.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Parenting Time Attorney

Divorce is not easy for anyone, especially if it involves a child who now has to split time between two parents. This can cause anxiety for all involved parties. As a parent, ensuring the best for your child should be of the utmost importance. The devoted attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group will take the time to ensure that you understand your rights to parenting time, and we will work with you to help secure the best possible outcome for you and your child. Our experienced DuPage County divorce attorneys will work with you every step of the way during the proceedings. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-871-1002.

Sources:

https://www.liveabout.com/illinois-child-custody-guidelines-2997106

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/101/HB/10100HB0185.htm

Tips for How to Negotiate a Parenting Plan

DuPage County Divorce LawyerOne of the main priorities of any divorcing parent is to figure out how to create a parenting plan that best supports the child’s development and allows each parent sufficient time and input in the child’s life. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to these agreements because the needs of each child and the circumstances of each family differ.

The most important aspect of any parenting plan is that it includes terms the parents can follow without constant conflict. This is often easier said than done due to the strong emotions involved after divorce. The court expects parents to make a genuine attempt to settle matters on their own, and while a family law judge must approve any plan, the specifics should be worked out between the parents. Courts do not have the capacity to fully analyze and understand the unique dynamics of a family, so any parenting plan created by a judge will be somewhat standard and generic as a result. This risks future litigation to enforce or modify the parenting agreement, a situation that is detrimental to the child’s well-being.

Parenting Plan Checklist

The main issues parents negotiating a parenting plan must settle are how to allocate parenting time and decision-making authority. Custody and visitation are no longer the standards in child-related matters, and the law is more focused on creating an arrangement that allows for a more collaborative approach to co-parenting.

Parenting time refers to how often a parent provides childcare. It must be established how key decisions related to the child will be made, such as school enrollment, medical treatment, religious upbringing, and extracurricular activities. How much time a child is in a parent’s care will depend on the child’s age and the circumstances of the family. Some children will spend a roughly equal amount of time with each parent, while others will primarily live with one and see the other on scheduled days. These two areas cover the minimum that must be addressed in a parenting plan.

Creating Effective Parenting Plans

In addition to the issues mentioned above, another important aspect is a plan for resolving disputes. This allows for easier review and modifications to the plan over time. To better supplement the basic structure, a holiday, birthday, and vacation schedule should be developed. Other potential issues to address include the amount of time the child is permitted to watch television or be on the computer, the age at which the child should receive a cell phone, and how parents will handle disciplinary issues. Finally, provisions related to the introduction of a parent’s new romantic partner to the child is another possible consideration.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Family Law Attorney

Parenting issues are often a source of bitter disagreement, but if these matters are decided in advance through a parenting plan, conflict can be avoided. These agreements are complicated and must be approved by a judge before they become enforceable. For skilled assistance, trust the dedicated DuPage County family law attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group when drafting or modifying a parenting plan. Our years of experience will help you develop the best possible plan for your child. Contact us today at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation.

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=075000050K602.7

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K602.5.htm

What to Include in Your Parenting Agreement

parenting agreement, Wheaton divorce attorneysIf 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.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+VI&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8350000&SeqEnd=10200000

https://www.illinoislegalaid.org/legal-information/parenting-plan