Tag Archives: parenting plan

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.




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.




Successful Co-Parenting During the Holiday Season

DuPage County parenting time lawyer holiday seasonDealing with divorce and separation can be tricky around the holidays, especially when children are involved. Kids may focus on their memories of Christmases past and struggle with their emotions as they adjust to the way their lives have changed this year. Rather than allowing the holiday season to become filled with anger, resentment, sadness, and stress, it is your duty as a parent to generate excitement for this season, giving the gift of joy to both your children, and even to your ex, by creating a parenting time arrangement that works for everyone.

Here are a couple of tips for making that possible:

Do Not Make Children Choose

You and your spouse may disagree about who gets to have parenting time on Christmas Day. Perhaps you cannot come to a civil agreement, because the holiday is equally important to each of you. Whatever you do, do not put the burden of choice on your children. Holiday parenting schedules should be outlined in your parenting time agreement to avoid any confusion.

Your children have bravely endured the changes that come with their parents’ separation, and the last thing that they will want is to choose between the two people they love most in the world. Even if they do have a preference, they may feel uneasy about disclosing their choice, because they do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Parents should work to create a holiday parenting time arrangement and make sure children understand how time will be divided between parents.

One example of a co-parenting holiday arrangement is: one parent gets to spend time with the children on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, while the other parent has the kids during the evening for a family Christmas dinner. In some cases, parents may be able to put aside their differences aside for the sake of the kids and enjoy the day together. The latter option should only be considered if you and your ex can be civil for extended periods.

Begin New Traditions

In the past, your kids may have received holiday pajamas on Christmas Eve and enjoyed hot chocolate and candy canes, followed by family photos of everyone wearing matching pajamas on Christmas Day. Attempting to recreate these types of family traditions after your separation without the participation of the other parent can result in confusion and difficult emotions for children. To avoid this, you should try to get creative as you forge new holiday memories. This year, come up with new traditions, such as dressing in your pajamas and going caroling, reading by the fireplace, or watching holiday movies with some popcorn.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

If you are currently going through a separation or divorce and are having trouble determining a parenting agreement that works for both you and your ex-spouse, a Wheaton divorce lawyer can help. At Andrew Cores Family Law Group, we have helped many families reach agreements that work for their situation, and we can do the same for you. Schedule your free initial consultation by calling our office at 630-871-1002.